Starlight plans Metro Vancouver’s biggest rental build

Renovation and new development would deliver 1,728 rental units in Burnaby’s Lougheed Town Centre

Western Investor
December 1, 2020

Black towers are new towers; grey towers are existing rental buildings. | Starlight
— Four black towers are new rental buildings.| Rendering submitted

Canada’s biggest landlord is planning the largest rental housing development in Metro Vancouver near the Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby

Starlight Developments, a division of Starlight Investments, has submitted a rezoning proposal to the City of Burnaby, the company announced December 1.

The proposal includes the retention of four concrete rental towers with 528 units and the addition of three additional high-rise, concrete towers and 1,200 new rental homes – totaling 1,728 suites when the proposed development is complete.

All existing rental buildings have been renovated in recent years and will be retained, while adding significant new rental housing inventory to Burnaby’s tight rental market. With the addition of three towers comprised of 48, 39, and 36 storeys, Lougheed Village will be Starlight’s largest and most ambitious project in Metro Vancouver.

“What makes this project significant is not just the addition of 1,200 new rental suites, but also the preservation of 528 existing residences,” explained Starlight’s head of development and construction, Josh Kaufman. “We’re extending the life of the existing suites and transforming the community through the addition of three new towers and best-in-class resident amenities and landscaping. We are excited to collaborate with the City of Burnaby on improving the community and adding much needed rental stock to Burnaby.”

According to the new Burnaby Housing Needs Report, issued November 27, there is a strong regional demand for rental housing, with the number of rental suites currently in development falling “far short of anticipated needs.” Even with significant new development, the rental housing inventory has decreased by 8.8 per cent. Burnaby has a rental vacancy rate of between 1.3 per cent and 1.7 per cent, depending on unit composition, the report found.

The plan for Lougheed Village calls for residences in a variety of sizes and configurations – from studios to three-bedroom suites – and resident amenities that include a daycare, gym, pool, multiple kids’ play structures, outdoor gardens, rooftop terraces, multi-purpose sports court and pollinator garden. The site and surrounding community will also enjoy new connectivity with the development of a multi-use path connecting to nearby Lougheed Mall and the Lougheed SkyTrain station.

The Starlight property is within the City of Burnaby’s Lougheed Town Centre Plan, which calls for the transformation of the area into a dense, mixed-use community supported by rapid transit. The redevelopment of nearby Lougheed Mall into The City of Lougheed retail and residential complex is expected to drive the momentum in the area’s evolution.

“Starlight’s decision to move forward and expand the reach of this large-scale development signals our confidence in this community and the Burnaby residential rental market,” explained Kaufman.

Starlight is the largest multi-residential owner-operator in Canada. It’s British Columbia portfolio has grown significantly with recent acquisitions, including the $4.8 billion purchase of the Northview Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust portfolio, and Aqua at Plaza 88, a rental housing tower, in New Westminster. Starlight now manages approximately 4,800 rental suites in the province.

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