Posted on October 10, 2014

Station Square Phase 2 construction to employ 650

Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan helps announce the start of the second and largest phase of redevelopment at Station Square on Friday. Two towers will go up at once, with construction employing 650 workers.— Image Credit: WANDA CHOW/NEWSLEADER

by Wanda Chow - Burnaby NewsLeader
posted Oct 10, 2014 at 2:00 PM— updated Oct 10, 2014 at 3:55 PM

More jobs were on the menu along with burgers for the construction workers celebrating the launch of Phase 2 of the Station Square redevelopment.

Anthem Properties Group and Beedie Development Group are turning what was once just a suburban mall into an urban neighbourhood highlighted by 1,800 homes in five condo towers in the Metrotown area.

As crews prepared to put the roof on the first tower along Kingsway, the companies announced the launch of Phase 2, the largest with two highrises being erected at once. It will also mean 650 direct construction jobs, double the workforce from the first phase.

"Every housing start creates five direct and indirect jobs so we're looking at, for the duration of the project, employing 3,000 people," said Ryan Beedie, president of Beedie Development Group.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan was happy to tout the fact the project will be employing hundreds of workers in "good paying jobs" in the city.

"I certainly believe very strongly that these kinds of jobs are the kinds that are sustainable," Corrigan said. "We are going to continue to develop these town centres and there are going to be jobs here for many decades into the future."

He noted that $429 million went into workers' pockets in Burnaby in earned wages resulting from construction in 2012. That number rose to $645 million in 2013 and so far this year, already $350 million.

"The related investments are in the billions of dollars."

While job growth in Metro Vancouver is flat overall, that's not so in Burnaby, according to Jeff Polkinghorne of global employment firm ManpowerGroup, in a press release. "Burnaby has really taken off. It's where all the job growth is."

Corrigan said the construction jobs are thanks to transit-oriented developments like Station Square that are expected to continue in the future.

"We're destined to accept another million people in this region over the next 25 years and we can't do it in a way that is environmentally responsible unless we look for density in areas around our transportation hubs."

He noted that Coun. Pietro Calendino and his wife had moved into a tower in the Brentwood area while their house was undergoing renovations.

"His problem is his wife loves living there so much she's saying she wants to sell the house and stay in Brentwood. Which shows you how much this urban style of development is able to make a change in the way people live."

He said many of the new condos are being bought by existing Burnaby residents, attracted by the proximity to SkyTrain and the option to give up their vehicles.

Eric Carlson, CEO of Anthem Properties, said almost 1,000 people have bought units in the new development so far.

"What I really like about it is that people with different views have come together to create this vision."