324 rental homes proposed near SkyTrain's Metrotown Station

Jun 29 2020, 4:30 pm

There are plans to build a sizeable rental housing redevelopment at the southeast corner of the intersection of Kathleen Avenue and Kemp Street, just west of Crystal Mall in Burnaby’s Metrotown downtown district.

Bosa’s Blue Sky Properties plans to turn 5994 Kathleen Avenue — currently occupied by two single-family homes and a vacant lot — into a 343-ft-tall, 34-storey tower with 324 secured purpose-built rental homes.

Bosa Kathleen, the tentative name of the project, is a short walking distance from both SkyTrain’s Metrotown and Patterson stations.

5994 kathleen avenue burnaby

Site of 5994 Kathleen Avenue, Burnaby. (Google Maps)

5994 kathleen avenue burnaby

Site of 5994 Kathleen Avenue, Burnaby. (Google Maps)

There will be 230 market rental units, including 83 studios, 105 one-bedroom units, and 42 two-bedroom units.

Another 94 units are set aside as affordable rental homes, with a unit mix of 31 studios, 37 one-bedroom units, 18 two-bedroom units, and eight three-bedroom units.

Overall, the redevelopment contains more family-sized units (two bedrooms or more) than required.

5994 kathleen avenue burnaby

Artistic rendering of 5994 Kathleen Avenue, Burnaby. (IBI Group / Bosa Bluesky Properties)

This redevelopment, designed by architectural firm IBI Group, is affiliated to Bosa’s condominium tower development at 5977 Wilson Avenue, located just one short block west.

Last year, the municipal government adopted a new policy requiring all future multi-family residential buildings be topped off with rental homes equivalent to 20% of the market residential units. Furthermore, developers are required to replace every rental home demolished, with the one-for-one replacements set at rates of 20% below Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation median rents.

These new policies affected in-stream applications such as 5977 Wilson Avenue, but instead of undergoing a costly redesign of the 358-unit upscale condominium tower designed by Gensler, Bosa decided to transfer all of the rental housing requirements to 5994 Kathleen Avenue.

5977 Wilson Avenue, Burnaby

Artistic rendering of 5977 Wilson Avenue, Burnaby. (Gensler / BlueSky Propeties)

As a result, Bosa Kathleen will have 216,926 sq ft of total floor area, creating a floor area ratio (FAR) density of 11.67 times the size of the 18,584-sq-ft lot. This includes 85,000 sq ft of floor area transferred from the 5977 Wilson Avenue project, with existing tenants having the first right of refusal to the replacement units.

The 5977 Wilson Avenue project accounts for 66 affordable rental homes, while the remaining 28 affordable homes are generated from the city’s inclusionary rental requirements for the Bosa Kathleen project.

5994 kathleen avenue burnaby

Artistic rendering of 5994 Kathleen Avenue, Burnaby. (IBI Group / Bosa Bluesky Properties)

Residents will have access to about 10,000 sq ft of amenity space on the second level (fitness gym and yoga room), 33rd level (games room, kitchen, dining areas, meeting space, co-working space, and lounges), and 34th level rooftop outdoor patio (garden boxes, cooking facilities, and seating areas).

The tower’s design takes on simple architectural features, denoted by its alternating window system that creates the appearance of a beehive.

5994 kathleen avenue burnaby

Artistic rendering of 5994 Kathleen Avenue, Burnaby. (IBI Group / Bosa Bluesky Properties)

“The proposed development form provides a strong street-orientated relationship to both Kemp Street and Kathleen Avenue, and provides an appropriate urban design response to surrounding, existing and planned high-density development within the Metrotown Downtown Plan area,” reads a City of Burnaby staff report.

“Overall, the proposal is considered to embody exceptional urban design and architectural expression in terms of the building’s siting, massing, pedestrian orientation and materiality, thus meeting the standards and objectives for such development in the Central Park East Neighbourhood.”

Five underground levels will contain 187 vehicle parking stalls and 681 bike parking spaces.