Up to 2,175 rental homes proposed for major development at SkyTrain Burquitlam Station

Sep 27 2021, 12:46 pm

The cluster of high-density, transit-oriented developments around SkyTrain’s Burquitlam Station could grow even larger with the redevelopment of Burquitlam Plaza.

Ontario-based developer Morguard Corporation has submitted a development application to the City of Coquitlam to redevelop 552 Clarke Road — the eight-acre strip mall immediately east of the SkyTrain station — into six towers with heights ranging from 29 storeys to 53 storeys.

Now in the early stages of the city’s review process, the proposal calls for three towers with 980 market rental homes within the first phase on the north side.

The second phase on the south side includes three towers with 1,195 homes, but the developer has indicated they have not made a decision whether these will be condominiums or market rental homes.

All residential spaces in the six towers could potentially be 100% purpose-built rentals, with the second phase’s housing tenure subject to market demand conditions. If the second phase is also rental-only housing, this could mean this project would have as many as 2,175 rental homes.

Metro Vancouver has a structural deficit in rental homes, with vacancy rates for secured purpose-built rental housing hovering at 2.6% even in October 2020’s depressed economic conditions and with a significantly smaller student population in the region, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s annual rental market report released earlier this year. At the time, the vacancy rate was hovering at 1.7% for the Tri-Cities and 3.7% for North Burnaby.

No below-market or non-market rental homes are currently included in the proposal, but this may be a consideration for inclusion as the proposal advances in its review with city staff.

552 Clarke Road Coquitlam Burquitlam Plaza

Preliminary conceptual artistic rendering of the Burquitlam Plaza redevelopment at 552 Clarke Road, Coquitlam. (Morguard Corporation)

552 Clarke Road Coquitlam Burquitlam Plaza

Preliminary conceptual artistic rendering of the Burquitlam Plaza redevelopment at 552 Clarke Road, Coquitlam. (Morguard Corporation)

552 Clarke Road Coquitlam Burquitlam Plaza

Site plan of the Burquitlam Plaza redevelopment at 552 Clarke Road, Coquitlam. (Morguard Corporation)

Commercial space components are also included in both phases, with 33,641 sq ft of retail and restaurant spaces in the north side, and about 51,000 sq ft of retail, restaurant, and office space in the north side. A childcare facility is contemplated for a portion of this commercial space calculation.

Both phases would provide 68,000 sq ft of total commercial space, exceeding the retail area of the existing strip mall.

As for public and amenity spaces, the north side entails a significant one-acre urban courtyard public space, while the south side includes a 6,000 sq ft public plaza next to the SkyTrain station and reconfigured bus exchange. Public streets extended through the site would establish the framework for the new public realm.

Private common outdoor amenity spaces for residents are situated on the rooftops of the podiums.

552 Clarke Road Coquitlam Burquitlam Plaza

Preliminary conceptual artistic rendering of the Burquitlam Plaza redevelopment at 552 Clarke Road, Coquitlam. (Morguard Corporation)

552 Clarke Road Coquitlam Burquitlam Plaza

Preliminary conceptual artistic rendering of the Burquitlam Plaza redevelopment at 552 Clarke Road, Coquitlam. (Morguard Corporation)

552 Clarke Road Coquitlam Burquitlam Plaza

Preliminary conceptual artistic rendering of the Burquitlam Plaza redevelopment at 552 Clarke Road, Coquitlam. (Morguard Corporation)

The development’s total floor area could reach 1.86 million sq ft — 845,000 sq ft for the north site and 1.015 million sq ft for the south site — for a floor area ratio density of a floor area that is 5.5 times larger than the size of the lot.

If the project is approved, the municipal government anticipates it could see approximately $80 million in combined development-based fees from the developer, such as development cost charges, density bonuses, community amenity contributions, and funds from acquiring adjacent city land and surplus roads.

Beyond this site, thousands of homes in tower forms are proposed, planned, or already under construction for the area around Burquitlam Station.

Morguard is also in the process of planning its long-term redevelopment of Coquitlam Centre shopping mall, beginning with the surface parking lot at the northeast corner of the site, closest to SkyTrain Lincoln Station.

552 Clarke Road Coquitlam Burquitlam Plaza

Site of the Burquitlam Plaza redevelopment at 552 Clarke Road, Coquitlam. (City of Coquitlam)

552-568 Clarke Road Coquitlam Burquitlam Plaza

Site of Burquitlam Plaza at 552-568 Clarke Road, next to SkyTrain’s Burquitlam Station in Coquitlam. (Google Maps)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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