Wanda Chow, (BURNABY NEWSLEADER) — It’ll be another year before shoppers get their Station Square mall back. But it’ll be a new and improved one to serve people walking along one of the most heavily travelled pedestrian corridors in the Lower Mainland, says Greg Zayadi, vice-president of sales and marketing for mall owner Anthem Properties. That would be the corridor connecting the mall to Metrotown SkyTrain station and Central Boulevard.
It’s all part of the redevelopment of the 12-acre mall site, a joint project between Burnaby-based Beedie Development Group and Anthem Properties, which will add five condo towers as well as offices and new retail spaces right next door to Metropolis at Metrotown mall. The previous incarnation of the shopping centre on the Central Boulevard end has been gutted and added on to, new windows will be installed and all the mechanical and electrical systems replaced. The surface parking lot in front of the former Future Shop store has been dug up to add two levels of parking underneath. “That openness that used to exist will still exist and the area will be available for night markets and open-air events,” said Houtan Rafii, vice-president of residential development for Beedie Living.
The way people move through the site from the SkyTrain station and beyond was closely studied and incorporated into the design, Zayadi noted. It’s been designed to be pedestrian friendly, with walking areas level with the roadway. More retail space has been added where the movie theatre used to be. And even though it’s not set to open until spring of 2015, it’s already 90 per cent leased, said Zayadi. Tenants already confirmed include Bed Bath and Beyond, Future Shop, Rexall, Tim Horton’s, Pet Smart, Dollarama, Boston Pizza and Neptune Seafood Restaurant.
In Phase 1 of the project located on the Kingsway end of the site, there will be an Overwaitea supermarket—either a Save-On-Foods or PriceSmart—and a TD Bank. The overall site will also be home to two locations of Caffe Artigiano, one each at the north and south ends. Just to the south of the first phase will be Phase 2 of the project, where the old Save-On-Foods used to be. It will include a “restaurant row” of two to three eateries built in the Yaletown, loading-dock style with outdoor seating above street level, said Rafii. Construction is underway on the Phase 1 first tower, a 35-storey, 269 unit highrise on Kingsway on the northeast corner of the site where the Red Robin restaurant used to be. The condos will sit on top of two floors of office and retail on the ground floor. It’s scheduled for completion in fall of 2015.
Phase 2 is set to launch sales later this month and start construction this September for completion in the fall of 2018. It will include two towers, the tallest on the overall site at 48 storeys, and one at 38 storeys, for a total of 767 apartment units on top of a podium with offices and commercial space. The fourth level will be home to a large, amenity space that will include a one-acre, rooftop park complete with children’s play area and waterfall for the use of residents of Towers 2 and 3. Phase 2 will also include eight electric cars to be owned and operated by the strata and 85 electric car parking stalls. Prices will start in the $250,000 range for a junior one-bedroom and run to the $400,000 range for a one-bedroom, two-bedrooms in the $500,000 to $700,000 range and penthouses at roughly $1 million.
There’s been “very strong interest” with thousands of people registered, said Zayadi. The first tower sold out with 40 per cent of buyers coming from Burnaby itself, another 20 per cent from Vancouver, 10 per cent from Richmond and the balance from the rest of the Lower Mainland. Most were investors who were buying for the use of family members or to rent out. “We’re fortunate in the sense the buying community has recognized the importance and significance of our location,” Rafii said. “The demand, we think, is going to be significant.”
Towers 4 and 5 will follow and be located on McKay Avenue at Kingsborough Street and Kingsway. The entire project will total about 1,800 homes when completed around 2020.
“We’re fortunate in the sense the buying community has recognized the importance and significance of our location”