Burnaby may soon be getting its own luxury zone, if a new partnership between mega-development the Amazing Brentwood and private equity firm L Catterton Real Estate—which is backed by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest high-end retail conglomerate—is any indication.
Shape Properties, the real-estate management team behind the Amazing Brentwood, announced LCRE’s investment in the project today (August 1). LCRE’s interest in the two-billion-dollar-plus site signals that the corporation believes that the Amazing Brentwood will attract a large assortment of the world’s top labels, explains Shape’s executive vice president, Darren Kwiatkowski.
“It’s a strong vote of confidence in the project and, I would say, in the region,” he tells the Straight by phone, adding that this is the first time that LCRE has supported a Canadian endeavor.
With funding from LVMH, which counts brands such as Celine, Louis Vuitton, and Fendi in its portfolio, LCRE has played a part in the launch of luxury developments like the Miami Design District and Tokyo’s ritzy Ginza Six. Both of these retail centres boast LVMH subsidiaries such as Bulgari, Givenchy, and Dior, which may offer consumers a hint of things to come in Burnaby.
“They have a seat at the table, for sure,” Kwiatkowski says of LCRE’s role in the outreach and decision-making process that will determine what labels call the Amazing Brentwood home.
Kwiatkowski won’t share what brands his team has already contacted, or hopes to lease retail space to, though he does mention that, with two years until the project’s first-phase completion, “we’ve reached out to a lot of them.”
In addition to luxury names, Kwiatkowski would like to see a selection of homegrown and independently owned stores among the Amazing Brentwood’s 250-plus expected shops. He says that the development’s status as a mixed-used urban centre, rather than a traditional mall, makes it well suited for a blend of luxury and local retailers, like in a city’s downtown core.
“We love that combination of cool local boutiques with international brands,” Kwiatkowski notes. “We want to have the full spectrum.”
At the moment, the majority of Vancouver's high-end labels are concentrated on the stretch of Alberni between Burrard and Thurlow streets and the surrounding area, which has subsequently been dubbed "Luxury Row". The Amazing Brentwood's introduction of such brands could potentially relieve the crunch for retail space in this zone, which, in recent years, has been taken up by Rolex, Saint Laurent, Moncler, and others.
Spanning over 28 acres, the Amazing Brentwood will include 2.5 million square feet of retail and restaurant space upon completion. This is in addition to the 6,000 homes and office and commercial spaces that will be produced over 11 hi-rise towers.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Cineplex will open B.C.’s first Rec Room, a massive food-and-entertainment district, and an almost 21,000-square-foot VIP Cinema at the Amazing Brentwood. More tenants—retail and otherwise—will be released as the project approaches its spring 2019 first-phase opening date.