Canada's largest film and television production studio to be built in Burnaby

Feb 18 2022, 9:55 pm

Hollywood North will see more much-needed additional production capacity: Construction on a massive new film and television production studio campus immediately north of SkyTrain Lake City Way Station in Burnaby could begin in late 2022.

Bridge Studios confirmed to Daily Hive Urbanized that it is proceeding with its plans to build the facility on a 19-acre site at 3131 Lake City Way.

Named “Bridge Studios -Lake City-” it will have over one million sq ft of total floor area, including 21 sound stages spanning a combined total of 340,000 sq ft, as well as 330,000 sq ft of support space such as mill shops, wardrobe, props, set decoration, and construction bay areas, and 150,000 sq ft of production office space.

While some of Metro Vancouver’s largest new film studios over the past 20 years were achieved by converting existing warehouse buildings, this will be a brand new purpose-built facility. The property’s two existing warehouse buildings spanning 253,000 sq ft of total floor area will be completely demolished to build the new structures.

There will also be parking for 1,000 vehicles, mostly underground, to support the need of staff, and over 1.6 km of parking space for film trucks directly behind the sound stages.

bridge studios lake city 3131 Lake City Way burnaby

Future site of Bridge Studios Lake City at 3131 Lake City Way, Burnaby. Existing buildings will be demolished for new purpose-built structures. (Colliers International)

bridge studios lake city 3131 Lake City Way burnaby

Future site of Bridge Studios Lake City at 3131 Lake City Way, Burnaby, next to SkyTrain’s Lake City Way Station. Existing buildings will be demolished for new purpose-built structures. (Google Maps)

Ron Hrynuik, the general manager of Bridge Studios, told Daily Hive Urbanized this would be Canada’s largest full-service film studio that includes a wide range of facilities, equipment, and services.

Bird Construction was recently awarded a contract worth over $200 million to build the campus. The facility could be ready for production sometime in 2025.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to deliver another important project for this client, as well as contribute to the growth and prosperity of the community,” said Teri McKibbon, president and CEO of Bird Construction.

“This large-scale project leverages our team’s demonstrated execution experience and contributes to the continued expansion of our project portfolio in the BC market, as well as continues to build our relationship with this client for whom we have executed a number of projects across Canada.”

Further details on the redevelopment will be released later this year.

bridge studios burnaby hollywood north

Larco Investments is the owner of Bridge Studios in Burnaby. (Bridge Studios)

Bridge Studios, owned by local developer Larco Investments, is located on Boundary Road near SkyTrain Gilmore Station. The new Lake City campus will be substantially larger than their first facility.

Larco acquired the Lake City Way property in a deal worth $140 million in February 2020.

In November 2021, the City of Burnaby announced it had selected Larco’s $136-million bid to buy the 17-acre vacant city-owned site at 3990 Marine Way within the Big Bend precinct in South Burnaby. Larco will develop the site into a major film and television production studio.

Larco also acquired a five-acre site at 7705 Griffiths Drive, next to SkyTrain’s Edmonds maintenance centre in Burnaby, for a smaller studio facility. The existing self-storage structures will be demolished for new purpose-built studios.

That same month, a partnership between Aquilini Development and local First Nations announced theirĀ proposed redevelopment of the 40-acre Willingdon LandsĀ immediately west of the BCIT Burnaby campus. The project will include a 450,000 sq ft production studio within new purpose-built structures, plus 5,000 homes.

In late 2021, construction also began on a major film and television production campus on a 33-acre vacant site next to Trans-Canada Highway’s 216th Street interchange in Langley Township. This will be a new purpose-built campus for Martini Film Studios, complete with 16 sound stages totalling 370,000 sq ft, support space reaching 224,000 sq ft, and production office space at 135,000 sq ft. Martini Film Studios’ new campus will open in 2024.

In October 2021, the Vancouver Economic Commission reported the film, television, animation, and post-production industry generated aĀ combined total of $3.4 billion for British Columbia’s economy in 2020, even with the pandemic’s impacts. In the process, it supported 65,000 jobs across BC.

A severe shortage of studio space in Metro Vancouver has limited the potential amount of work and the number of jobs the local film and television industry can generate.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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