2,800 homes, mostly rentals, planned for Kingsway near Edmonds SkyTrain

Apr 2 2022, 3:01 am

One of Metro Vancouver’s largest rental housing projects is being pursued by provincial and municipal authorities at a transit-oriented site in southeast Burnaby.

BC Housing and the City of Burnaby have revealed their conceptual master plan for the mixed-use redevelopment of a five-acre site at the southwest corner of the intersection of Kingsway and Edmonds Street — about a 12-minute walk from SkyTrain Edmonds Station, and just footsteps from various bus routes.

This includes the city-owned sites of 7282 Kingsway (vacant; former Edmonds Community Centre), 7252 Kingsway (vacant; former Kingsway Library Branch site), and 7255 Edmonds Street (parking lot), as well as the provincial government-owned property at 7264 Kingsway, which is the Hall Towers site.

Hall Towers entails 18-storey and 17-storey towers built in 1972, containing 331 rental units, which are now in need of replacement due to age and condition.

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Site of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Site of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Site of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Google Maps)

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Existing ownership parcels (left) and future reconfigured ownership parcels (right) at the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

The redevelopment plans were released to the public on Friday, after Burnaby City Council approved the preliminary vision and development concept in a closed meeting on March 7, 2022. City staff will now begin the process of consulting with the public to finalize the master plan.

To achieve the project, there will be a land transfer and reconfiguration of parcel ownership on the site between BC Housing and the City of Burnaby.

Five buildings, each with podiums, are planned for the site — 33 storeys, 38 storeys, 39 storeys, 50 storeys, and 52 storeys, with the tallest flat iron-like tower situated next to the prominent intersection. All of the towers will contribute to the evolving identity and character of Edmonds Town Centre and its skyline.

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Building uses at the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Artistic rendering of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Artistic rendering of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

The multi-phased redevelopment calls for a total of 2,815 homes, including 1,206 units by BC Housing and 1,609 units by the City of Burnaby. About 62% of the homes (1,739 units) will be rental units, while just over half, 51% (1,439 units), will be considered below-market rental units.

The BC Housing component includes 331 one-for-one affordable replacement rental units of the Hall Towers, plus 875 additional affordable rental units at 10% below-market rents.

The larger component by the municipal government calls for 1,076 market condominium units, 300 market rental units, and 233 affordable rental units at 20% below Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation median rents. The city notes that the significant condominium component — one of the first buildings — will help cover its construction costs, and reduce its financial risk.

Other uses spread across the lower floors of the buildings entail 33,000 sq ft of office space, 84,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space, and 27,500 sq ft of community service space for non-profit providers.

The entire redevelopment would have a total floor area of almost 2.1 million sq ft, including 220,000 sq ft of replacement rental housing, 734,000 sq ft of below-market rental housing, 187,000 sq ft of market rental housing, and 780,000 sq ft of condominium housing.

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Layout of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Artistic rendering of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

“The conceptual master plan proposes a high-density, mixed-use development that uses land in an efficient manner, is supported by transit, is in close proximity to services, and provides green infrastructure and natural spaces on site. The overall building program will replace aging non-market rental housing stock without tenant displacement and deliver new non-market rental, market rental, and market strata units,” reads a city staff report.

“Units will be designed to suit a range of age cohorts and household sizes. Indoor and outdoor social spaces, such as rooftop community gardens, playgrounds, and courtyards will be integrated into building design. Vibrant commercial space that spills into the public realm will provide job opportunities close to home, including initial construction related employment and long-term retail and office employment.”

Extensive public realm plans include a new garden to extend the existing Highland Park Line Trail, with the garden transitioning to the large “Heart” plaza — an event-friendly community space with a design and public art component that commemorates the area’s public transit history, specifically the former Interurban route through the area.

Preliminary artistic renderings show the potential for a showcase pavilion structure and a historic Interurban car as the centrepiece of this Heart plaza.

From the Heart plaza, the paved public realm transitions up a grand staircase onto a large plaza fronting Kingsway, located next to the tallest tower.

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Artistic rendering of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Artistic rendering of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Artistic rendering of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

There would also be a new north-south street through the site — called “The Mews” — to link Hall Avenue and Kingsway to the north, and 16th Street and Edmonds Street to the south.

Currently, a total of about 2,500 vehicle parking stalls are required, but it is noted that the municipal government could potentially allow for some reductions.

The master plan was conceptualized by a team led by planning firm Urban Strategies, with design work carried out by DYS Architecture.

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Artistic rendering of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Artistic rendering of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

kingsway & edmonds 7282 Kingsway Burnaby

Artistic rendering of the Kingsway & Edmonds project at 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby. (Urban Strategies/BC Housing/City of Burnaby)

Public consultation on the master plan is expected to begin in early Summer 2022, which will lead to the completion of the master comprehensive development rezoning in 2023, and the implementation of the master plan starting in  late 2023.

This is the second largest major redevelopment in the general Edmonds area, just behind Southgate City.

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