Lougheed area redevelopments met with speed bumps

Image via http://www.vancouvermarket.ca
Image via http://www.vancouvermarket.ca

Future plans receive mixed reactions from Burnaby and Coquitlam residents

By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter

If everything goes according to plan for shareholder Shape Properties, Lougheed Town Centre will be completely unrecognizable in the next 30 years. Shape Properties, one of the companies known for their colossal redevelopment strategies for The Amazing Brentwood (Brentwood Town Centre), are adding the 29.1 hectare area, situated on the Burnaby/Coquitlam border, to their list of to-do’s.

According to Shape’s website, “Lougheed Town Centre is to undergo a redevelopment and densification plan that calls for approximately 1.2-million square feet of retail, 1-million square feet of office space and on-site residential units.

“The completion of Lougheed’s redevelopment will result in a signature urban destination that is an attractive home for residents, workers, and businesses, and a draw for the residents of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody, New Westminster, and beyond.”

The development is bordered by North Road on the east side, Cameron Street to the north, the Cameron Recreation Complex to the west, and Lougheed Highway to the south. The current plan is to intertwine seven unique neighbourhoods, spread around the Lougheed area, through walkways, bike lanes, and large open spaces.

The redeveloped land is expected to resemble a sufficient city within its own borders. The hope is for the land to find a cohesive balance between flourishing trees dotting the landscape, low- and high-rises to accommodate the city’s population growth, and diverse shops and services to boost local businesses. Tri-City News adds that “…an additional 25,000 people could move into the surrounding area within 30 years.”

Last month, the Lougheed Town Centre Core Area Master Plan was presented for a public hearing at Burnaby City Hall. Throughout the meeting, Square Properties, alongside the City of Burnaby, received mixed reviews. While multiple business owners eagerly supported the project, in hopes for financial benefits thanks to a bold new look, local citizens voiced their concern and dissatisfaction.

Many occupants are worried about potential 65-storey apartment buildings blocking their beautiful views while increasing traffic and noise in the vicinity. Some residents held nothing back with their outwardly hot-tempered letters to publication editors.

Brian Robinson, a Coquitlam resident, wrote to the editor at Tri-City News suggesting that the developers have Burnaby council “by the nose,” controlling every move.

Meanwhile, Frank Mesich noted to Burnaby Now that he doesn’t think the council is respecting citizens viewpoints, thus letting many people down.

“The rationale for their actions are that they are fulfilling a plan developed 20 years ago that ‘we all determined’ would be the creation of Metrotown, Lougheed Town Centre, and Brentwood redevelopment. The redevelopment encroaches into and sacrifices single family neighbourhoods.”