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Grosvenor gets greenlight for a car-free Brentwood development

Near-eight-acre pedestrian-friendly Burnaby proposal plans 3,450 homes with six towers, including a 60-storey rental high-rise, and 200,000 square feet of commercial space

On March 7, the City of Burnaby approved a Grosvenor master plan for the company’s largest mixed-use development in North America, a pedestrian-only project at Brentwood that will include a 60-storey rental tower, the tallest in Western Canada, 3,450 homes, about 200,000 square feet of commercial space and a new multi-storey community centre.

City approval means the proposal can now move forward to consultation.

The plan includes a total of six residential towers above underground parking that will allow the 7.9-acre site to be car-free, according to Ryan Bragg, principal, Perkins & Will architects.

“Typically, in this type of development, instead of plazas and courtyards there would be streets and space to support vehicles, but here there will be no cars, just trails and green space. It’s a complete paradigm shift for the region,” he said.

The development includes approximately 2,000 market-rental homes and 450 below-market rentals, with rents set at 20 per cent below Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. median rental rates for the area, which is set at $1,450 per month.

“Burnaby has shown leadership in encouraging the development of rental housing. That opened up this great opportunity to deliver much needed rental housing at a significant scale,” said Marc Josephson, senior vice-president, development with Grosvenor

The development, located within one of Metro Vancouver’s fastest-growing communities and one block from the Brentwood Town Centre SkyTrain station, aims to be a model for future large-scale, pedestrian-focused, transit-oriented developments, according to a Grosvenor statement.

The master plan also incorporates an abundance of green space in a public courtyard for both residents and the general public, including landscaped trails and routes for cyclists and a new, approximately 100,000-square-foot community centre for the City of Burnaby that is anticipated to attract well over one million visitors a year.

In addition, the development will embrace the City of Burnaby’s sustainability requirements, as well as achieve Grosvenor’s corporate commitment to net-zero carbon in operational emissions from all directly managed buildings by 2030, according to a company statement.

Grosvenor, a privately held, 340-year-old company based in London, U.K., is currently working on a US$2.7 billion development pipeline that includes urban mixed-use residential projects in the U.S. and Metro Vancouver. It holds or manages a US$4.8 billion real estate portfolio across North America.