City of Burnaby will host open house on concept for major redevelopment around Gilmore Station

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      The Millennium Line has been the catalyst for an enormous amount development around Brentwood Station.

      This month, Burnaby council will seek public input to develop a vision for the area around Gilmore Station, which is west of Brentwood Station.

      The preliminary concept calls for several residential and office towers, including a signature building of up to 65 storeys.

      Next Tuesday (January 12), there will be two public open houses offering the chance for the public to offer input.

      One open house takes place in the Burnaby City Hall foyer from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; the other runs from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the lobby of Commerce Court (4180 Lougheed Highway).

      On November 23, council approved a "conceptual master plan" for the Gilmore Station area that falls within Brentwood Town Centre. It's one of four town centres in the city (the others being Lougheed, Metrotown, and Edmonds).

      According to a staff report, the Gilmore Station area was designated for high office use, high-density residential, and light industrial (i.e. business park).

      Properties to the east of Gilmore Station "were identified for high-density and medium density residential development".

      Several years ago, Standard Life Assurance proposed developing a one-million-square-foot office tower, but it was never built.

      But the plan was amended at that time to remove high-density multiple-family and light-industrial-office designations. They were replaced that with "general commercial district" and "urban village commercial district" designations.

      In 2014, the Onni Group bought Standard Life's five-hectare site for a reported $110 million.

      "Given this site’s strategic location as a gateway to the Brentwood Town Centre both by road and by SkyTrain, future redevelopment of the area presents a special opportunity to create a fully-integrated, diverse, transit-connected mixed-use community with a focus on employment growth," the Burnaby staff report states. "Re-conceptualizing the Gilmore Station area requires a concept and vision that delivers architectural excellence, and also demonstrates leadership in economic, environmental and social sustainability, exceptional urban design and public realm, and meaningful amenity contribution to the broader Brentwood Town Centre area."

      The concept includes a call for five community precincts. (See below.)

      The city has proposed five precincts around Gilmore Station.

      The proposed Gateway precinct would include a "signature residential tower" on top of retail stores, including a grocery uses.

      "The intended form of development would be characterized by up to three high-rise residential apartment buildings between 45 to 65 storeys in height, with four storeys of retail and flex office space at the ground level," the report states.

      The plan also calls for an "enlarged public transit plaza" in the Station precinct. This would provide better ground access to Gilmore Station from Gilmore Avenue and Dawson Street. This would include three storeys of retail and flex office space.

      The proposed Dawson High Street precinct would have up to four high-rise apartment towers between 25 and 45 storeys on top of a five-storey retail and office podium west of Carleton Avenue. There would be a four-storey podium on the east side of Carleton.

      Staff have called for the Carleton precinct to be linked by plazas and open spaces, making it "conducive to restaurants and cafes with outdoor patio seating". It would also include one high-rise residential building of 25 to 35 storeys on top of a 10-storey office and retail podium.

      The proposed Commerce precinct could feature two office buildings of between 15 to 30 storeys on top of a four-storey retail and flex office podium.

      "The expansion of high-amenity ofice uses on the site is fundamental to the mixed-use employment based concept," the staff report states.

      In recent years, it's been difficult for many suburban office landlords to attract tenants. Burnaby, however, aims to permit up to one million square feet of office space in Brentwood Town Centre, which could provide up to 5,000 office-related jobs.