Beyond its claim for having Canada’s second biggest shopping mall and becoming an urban core – complete with restaurant, hotel and shopping destinations intended to draw residents – Burnaby is shaping up to be a more vertical and dense, urbane neighbourhood. A revised area plan is in fact underway to handle the increased density.
The Globe and Mail reports :
To take advantage of the extra density permitted, however, developers have to offer something special in return, other than amenities such as a seniors’ centre or daycare.
“They are going to have to provide something much more unique, in terms of architecture,” says Mr. Kozak. “Most importantly, the developer will have to contribute to the community in more ways than just redeveloping a site.
“We are trying to create a compact urban core that is walkable, and linked to the rest of the region through transit,” adds Mr. Kozak.
To that end, a percentage of the new units will even receive two-zone transit passes for two years.
For developers, Metrotown is already a dream situation. They say the cost of doing business is generally lower than pricey Vancouver. And the city process there is more streamlined than Vancouver’s project-by-project negotiation.
“You don’t have to negotiate with [Burnaby], it’s embedded in their development plans, it’s a formula,” says Intracorp president, Don Forsgren. “You know where you will end up in costs.”
Intracorp has already built five towers in Metrotown. They currently have three more in the works, including Metroplace, of which 85 per cent sold in three weeks, under construction, as well as Silver, about to come to market this month, and another tower in the final approval process.
While a condo might run $750 per square foot in Vancouver, a comparable unit in Burnaby is in the neighbourhood of $500 to $600 per square foot.
“There aren’t a lot of choices in Vancouver for housing at that kind of price point,” says Mr. Forsgren.
- Kerry Gold
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