Monday, May 4, 2015

Koby's Produce Town opening on Rosser Ave

I've recently noticed that a new produce store will be arriving on the scene at the corner of Rosser Ave and Buchanan St.  Koby's Produce Town will go head-to-head with Save-On-Foods and the incoming Whole Foods across the street.  Its arrival is a definite positive for consumers that have been missing the departed Kin's Farm Market.

It appears to be an independent store as a Google search did not turn up any pages other than broken links to the City of Burnaby website with a  "page not found" message.  It is not yet known when it will open.  If anyone knows. please post the opening date in the comments below.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Solo District's Altus rising

As Altus continues to rise, the Stratus tower is beginning to disappear when viewed from the east.

Walmart to replace no-showing Target?

Shape Properties has done an amazing job of keeping details of future Brentwood retail and entertainment tenants from not only the public, but from its current Brentwood Mall tenants as well.  Despite such well-kept secrecy, rumours have begun circulating that Walmart may become a major anchor tenant in the new Brentwood Mall instead of the recently-failed Target which had plans to take up shop in the new development.  Such an entry by Walmart would most likely involve the relocation of the Grandview Hwy location to Brentwood.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Gilmore Station could see up to 8 towers

The Gilmore Station Development by Onni Group could see as many as 8 towers flanking Gilmore Station with 1 million square feet of retail space.  The following is an excerpt  from Onni's website describing the upcoming development at the corner of Gilmore Ave and Lougheed Hwy.

With over 12 acres of high-density mixed-use retail, office and residential development conveniently located at the Gilmore SkyTrain Station, the master-planned Gilmore Station community will soon be an exciting new urban centre for Burnaby. Located at the intersection of Lougheed Highway and Gilmore Avenue, this vibrant high-traffic retail community promises to be a draw for neighbouring communities, passers-by, and residents alike. Its prime location adjacent to Brentwood Centre, also currently under massive redevelopment, means that the Gilmore Station community will truly be at the centre of Burnaby’s larger revitalization and urban growth master-plan.
Gilmore Station will have the potential to provide up to 2.5 million sq. ft. of residential development in over 5 high-rise towers. The first phase of up to 1.0 million sq. ft. of commercial space is preleasing now. Gilmore Station is set to become one of the most sought-after and visited urban centres in Burnaby and Metro Vancouver.

The graphic below from Onni's website gives the impression that no space will be spared right up to the sidewalks along Gilmore, Dawson and Lougheed.

Rev's Bowling a sure bet for redevelopment

By the sounds of the article below, the site at Rev's Bowling will inevitably be redeveloped into residential towers.  Sadly, we will witness the closure of the last bowling facility in Burnaby, unless it remains in the new development or relocates somewhere in the city.  It's been a great place to have kids' birthday parties or to just go and spend an hour or two.

The development would front both Lougheed Hwy and Goring Street west of Holdom Station.

Burnaby NewsLeader article below

Holdom property tied up in legal battle

At 4.5 acres, the property where Revs Bowling Centre sits beside Holdom SkyTrain station would appear to be ripe for redevelopment.
But don't count on new highrises going up anytime soon. For almost two years it's been caught in a legal tug-of-war between the owner and a prospective buyer.
The owner claims the fact the land could be rezoned for higher density redevelopment than he realized was kept from him and that other wrongdoings took place, so he refused to go through with the sales contract. The buyer denies the allegations.
In December 2012, YouYi Group Holdings (Canada) Ltd., led by Xiao Dong (Allen) Liu, filed a lawsuit against Brentwood Lanes Canada Ltd., which owns the Burnaby bowling centre property, as well as others in Maple Ridge and Ontario.
Youyi's statement of claim outlined the transaction in which offshoots of its company agreed to buy the property at 5502 Lougheed Hwy. for $28.8 million in a contract signed in October 2011. It was to pay deposits totaling $450,000 and the sale was to complete on Dec. 19, 2012.
It also had a contract to purchase the 4.2-acre Maple Ridge bowling property for $3.2 million in a similar deal.
Since then, YouYi says, it has retained an architectural firm to prepare a concept for a three-tower, highrise development and commissioned a geotechnical and structural engineering report to ensure the plan is feasible. It says it also met with planners and other staff at Burnaby city hall to identify city rezoning requirements and began negotiations with a "highly reputable development company" to partner in a joint venture for the property's development.
YouYi says it has made "significant progress in the rezoning process" and its efforts have increased the value of the property.
The first YouYi heard that Brentwood Lanes would not close the deal was through a letter from their lawyer on Dec. 4, 2012. "The purported reason for their decision … was alleged wrongdoing on behalf of YouYi, including the taking of secret commissions and fraud," said the statement of claim. The allegations are "wholly unfounded and a bad faith attempt by the defendants to avoid their obligations under the contracts."
It wants the courts to force Brentwood Lanes to go through with the sale.
But in its response, Brentwood Lanes says the deal was off because of the buyer's "inability to complete the purchase" and "fraudulent conduct."
Brentwood Lanes owner Jeong Lee was approached by insurance agent Neil Wong in April 2011 with a proposal that he and his associates—realtor Kevin Hien, and businessmen Gary Chow and Stanley Chow—would find overseas buyers in China for the Burnaby, Maple Ridge and Ontario properties.
In July 2011, Wong and Hien told Lee they had found buyers interested in the Burnaby and Maple Ridge properties but not the Ontario ones.
At least as early as July 11 of that year, unknown to Lee, the others involved knew that the Burnaby land could be rezoned to RM5s, with potential higher density than the RM5 he was aware was possible, said the response.
Lee relied on Hien's advice, and the realtor said he would act solely for Lee, the document states. The offer was received from YouYi's Liu, "who Hien represented to Lee to be an experienced real estate developer with wealthy business partners in China." Hien also advised Lee that $32 million for both the Burnaby and Maple Ridge properties was above fair market value.
Shortly after accepting the offer, Lee agreed to sign fake contracts stating the Burnaby property alone was sold for $38.8 million and not the actual $28.8 million. Hien advised Lee that Liu wanted to use them to show investors in China his success in negotiating a reduced price.
Instead, Liu used it to try to flip the property for more money to other developers or buyers, said Lee's response. Around September 2012, Liu showed the false contract to a developer and offered to sell his interest in the land for $40 million.
Lee's response also alleges he was convinced to sign commission-splitting and referral-fee agreements to Hien and the others, even though the others were ineligible due to their not being licenced realtors in B.C.
He alleges Hien convinced him to sign documents that, unbeknownst to Lee, were to misrepresent the rental income of the property to help YouYi get financing for the purchase. Lee also agreed to help finance YouYi's purchase.
But he did not agree to participate in a case of mortgage fraud, in which he was asked to confirm that YouYi had paid him $8 million more as a deposit than it had, to help it secure financing.
Lee makes other allegations including claims of a secret bribe and that Hien acted in collusion with Liu. None of the allegations has yet been proven in court.
Through the fact the buyers did not have the financial ability to complete the purchase, and by asking Lee to participate in the mortgage fraud, "the plaintiffs have repudiated the contracts."
Lee first began to doubt Hien's advice he was getting well above fair market value in December 2011, when another realtor brought him an offer to buy the Lougheed property for $28 million.
Lee sought an appraisal of the land in January 2012, which informed him of the RM5s zoning eligibility and pegged its value at $38 million.
When he brought it up with Hien, the realtor said Liu had no plans to take advantage of the RM5s zoning and would only rezone it to RM5, even drafting documents with YouYi agreeing to that.
"At all material times, Hien was aware that Liu had no intention to comply with the rezoning covenant and that Liu had explored with the City of Burnaby the rezoning of the Brentwood property to RM5s," the response states.
Brentwood Lanes has filed a counterclaim against YouYi, its offshoots, Liu, Hien and others seeking to have the sales contract cancelled, in addition to damages and costs.
The case continues to wend its way through the courts.
YouYi had a certificate of pending litigation (CPL) registered on the land title. A lower court cancelled it at Brentwood Lanes' request. Just last week, the B.C. Court of Appeal slapped it back on until a final decision can be made following a trial.
According to the most recent court judgement by BC Appeal Court Justice Mary Newbury, Lee has retained a new real estate agent who says the CPL is preventing him from finding a new buyer for the Burnaby property.
Meanwhile, the bowling continues at Revs.

Monday, April 13, 2015

2450 Alpha put forward

As highrises begin to spring up along Lougheed at Brentwood Mall and Solo District, Solterra has put forward a plan to build one at 2450 Alpha Ave, south of Dawson Street.  This development, along with the proposed Dragonwood development by Concord Pacific are signalling a marked change south of Dawson from light industrial to residential.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Phases 2 and 3 of Brentwood Mall Redevelopment initiated

With Phase 1 just having gotten underway, Shape Properties has forwarded Phase 3 plans along with its initiation for Phase 2 of the Brentwood Mall Redevelopment.  Phase 3 includes the 3rd tower.  This tower will be built just east of Brentwood Two on Lougheed Hwy most likely at the northeast corner of Alpha and Lougheed atop a commercial podium.

Phase 2 involves the to-be-named Brentwood Community Centre which will be built at the northeast corner of Halifax and Willingdon.  Along with the name, it has yet to be decided what the community centre will include.

Third phase of Brentwood development moving forward
Janaya Fuller-Evans / Burnaby Now
April 9, 2015 02:37 PM

While the first phase of the Brentwood Town Centre development is under construction, Shape Properties is now moving forward with its proposal for Phase 3.
Shape recently submitted a rezoning application for the third residential building for the site.
"The intent of the master plan identifies residential building three as a single high residential apartment building between 35 and 55 storeys in height atop a commercial podium fronting Brentwood Boulevard and Lougheed Highway," Benjamin Nelson with Shape Properties wrote in a letter to the city's planning and building department. "As prescribed in the master plan, the built form will be lower than that advanced for the Phase 1 residential."
City staff are working with Shape on a development plan for the building, which will then be sent to public hearing.
Shape plans to move ahead with Phase 2 of the project at the same time as Phase 3, and expects to finish it before Phase 3.
However, as Phase 2 includes the new Brentwood Community Centre, further analysis is underway before a rezoning application is submitted for that portion of the development, according to a report from Lou Pelletier, the city's director of planning and building.
The Brentwood master plan divided the 11.5-hectare site at 4515 and 4567 Lougheed Hwy. into four quadrants for development, with the first phase including the two residential towers currently under construction.
The project has been a source of controversy in the Brentwood community, with many residents opposed to the increase in traffic and density in the area.
The rezoning application for the second residential building, a 53-storey tower at the corner of Lougheed Highway and Willingdon Avenue, went to public hearing last summer, with about 40 people in attendance. The application was approved last November.
Residents along Brentlawn Drive have been especially vocal as the project has progressed. The majority of concerns have been regarding increased traffic and rat-runners through their neighbourhood.
The master plan is divided into four phases and includes proposals for 10 residential towers. The design also includes a redeveloped commercial centre, a food store, and a variety of public outdoor spaces.

© 2015 Burnaby Now