Posted on November 14, 2012

Plans are moving ahead for Metrotown redevelopment

BY JANAYA FULLER-EVANS, STAFF REPORTER NOVEMBER 14, 2012

The first tower of the Station Square redevelopment in Metrotown sold out quickly, with sales to the public taking place over about three-and-a-half hours earlier this month.

Plans for the project include five residential towers ranging in height from 35 to 57 storeys, a redeveloped commercial centre, and green and public spaces throughout the site.

"We had a hugely successful sales campaign," Greg Zayadi, director of sales and marketing for the property owner, Anthem Properties, said in a phone interview. "It's virtually sold out."

Some of the 269 units were sold in presales to family, friends and contacts of the two companies partnering to build the project - Anthem and Beedie Living, he added.

The Station Square developers recently opened the sales centre at Kingsway and McKay Avenue, he said, adding it has a presentation section where potential buyers and members of the public can see the plans for the development. The centre will be open for the next five years, he said.

Demolition at the first tower site at 4688 Kingsway has begun, according to Rob Blackwell, Anthem's senior vice-president of development, and the groundbreaking for the tower is slated to take place in the spring.

The development on the northeastern portion of the site - where Boston Pizza and Red Robin used to be - is expected to be completed in three years, he said

Now that the presentation and sales centre has been built, and the first tower has sold, the developers will begin planning the future phases, Blackwell said.

The site's master plan is based on urban design principles that were determined after lengthy consultations with the city, stakeholders and community members, he added.

Unique aspects include Silver Drive, which will bisect the property, Blackwell said.

"It's really the central nervous system to the project," he explained. "What we're trying to create with that is a very urban experience."

The drive will be very European and similar to Granville Island, with brick pavers instead of a concrete surface, Blackwell added. The site will also include "city rooms," he added, describing the spaces as "corner nodes and nooks sprinkled throughout the site. We'll populate those with water features, public art, special landscaping, etcetera."

Another unique feature will be catenary lighting, Blackwell said, with suspending lights strung from building face to building face. The site design includes large boulevards, trees and decorative bollards or posts.

The goal is to make the development very pedestrian-friendly, he added.

"Cars are still welcome but pedestrians sort of rule," Blackwell said.

The project will be a mixed-use development with restaurants, retail, and residential towers linked to the rest of the city via transit and Burnaby's trail system, he said.

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