First look inside: The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall will live up to its name (PHOTOS)

Jul 23 2019, 8:48 pm

It is safe to say The Amazing Brentwood (TAB) will live up to its name.

The first phase of the expansive redevelopment of what was previously known as Brentwood Town Centre shopping mall is now racing towards completion, with project team crews now well into the process of incrementally handing over completed shell commercial spaces to the construction contractors hired by the many retailers.

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Darren Kwiatkowski, the executive vice-president of acquisitions and development for Shape Properties, provided Daily Hive this week with an exclusive first glimpse of the project nearing its final stage.

“We’re really excited that after many years of planning, design, and construction, we are close to being finished,” said Kwiatkowski.

“This place is coming alive… We think the public will be very excited and really embrace the project, and we’re looking forward to many years of success here.”

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

To say the least, it is certainly a highly impressive application and scale of a mixed-use, transit-oriented redevelopment concept; much attention to detail has been provided to this $1.5-billion phase of the new indoor and outdoor shopping mall with a wide range of retail and dining, residential and office spaces, and an immersive public realm.

The new shopping mall’s selection of retail, restaurants, and entertainment, with a greater-than-normal emphasis on the latter two, is intended to bring people to TAB. It speaks to how the next generation of malls in the rising retail age of e-commerce are increasingly focusing on creating experiential activations that supplement traditional retail.

Artistic rendering of phase one of The Amazing Brentwood. (Shape Properties)

Artistic rendering of phase one of The Amazing Brentwood. (Shape Properties)

To achieve an optimal mix of global luxury, mid-market, and local-serving retail, the developer partnered with global firm L Catterton Real Estate to turn TAB into a mall with high-calibre architecture, public art, and world-renowned and luxury retail brands.

At the moment, the retailers have not made much of an impression on their spaces, with restaurant and store space construction only recently started. In fact, their storefront exteriors are currently covered with temporary construction hoarding, as the retailers have been provided with a “blank canvas” — the ability to creatively furnish and personalize their signage and storefronts in accordance with their unique brands.

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Looking north on Brentwood Boulevard; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Artistic rendering of phase one of The Amazing Brentwood. (Shape Properties)

Looking north on Brentwood Boulevard; artistic rendering of phase one of The Amazing Brentwood. (Shape Properties)

A formal announcement on all of the confirmed retailers and restaurants is forthcoming, but at this point of time, we are now aware of about a dozen brands, some of which are planning a big splash.

A new public street, dubbed Brentwood Boulevard, provides access through the site for both pedestrians and vehicles, and it is seamlessly integrated with the city street grid. Along the boulevard, expect nearly two dozen retailers, including Adidas, Nike, Wilfred by Aritzia, and a two-level H&M flagship store — complete with the H&M Home collection.

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Adidas and Nike will be opening on Brentwood Boulevard; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Wilfred by Aritzia will be opening on Brentwood Boulevard; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Overlooking the boulevard, an upper level food hall — essentially a boutique food court — will offer a wide range of chef-driven and chain options.

A pedestrian bridge also spans the boulevard, creating a seamless indoor connection between the upper levels of the new mall.

To the southwest, perched on the upper levels of the mall podium is Cineplex’s VIP Cinemas and Rec Room, which is the theatre chain’s first entertainment and gaming centre in the Metro Vancouver market. Cineplex will occupy 64,700 sq. ft. of space over two levels, providing five VIP auditoriums, three eateries including a sports bar and upscale casual restaurant, a bowling alley, and over 100 arcade games and simulators. Sporting Life and Steve Nash Fitness Club are also located in this area.

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Indoor shopping mall component, with Cineplex VIP Cinemas and Rec Room atop; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Indoor shopping mall component, with Cineplex VIP Cinemas and Rec Room atop; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Cineplex overlooks the one-acre grand public plaza that doubles as the gateway into TAB from SkyTrain’s Brentwood Town Centre Station, with a footbridge connecting the plaza with the station’s mezzanine level. A giant TV screen facing the plaza is also perched to the side of the upper floors of this theatre podium.

Ample seating areas dot the plaza and the promenade that leads towards the boulevard.

The plaza’s centrepiece is a significant water feature with programmable oscillating fountains, amplified at nighttime by ever-changing LED lights — quite possibly the closest thing Metro Vancouver will have to the Bellagio fountain, other than the Aberdeen Centre fountain. The project team worked with Toronto-based Crystal Fountains, which has choreographed the fountain system with music for scheduled shows.

Artistic rendering of phase one of The Amazing Brentwood. (Shape Properties)

Artistic rendering of phase one of The Amazing Brentwood. (Shape Properties)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Grand plaza area with water fountain; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Indoor shopping mall component, with Cineplex VIP Cinemas and Rec Room atop; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

This fountain even has its own centrepiece — a tree, supported by a vessel-like public art structure at the ground level below. A layer of glass also surrounds the inner core of the fountain surrounding the tree, which doubles as a skylight for the ground level, allowing natural light to stream through.

Furthermore, the entire plaza is wired up to a sound and lighting system, activating the space with an audio and visual experience.

Through an agreement with the municipal government, the city has rights to host community events on the space throughout the year.

The plaza is also activated by its perimeter of restaurants and patios, including a two-storey Cactus Club Cafe — plus a rooftop patio — on the north side and a significant Starbucks Reserve pavilion to the south, adjacent to the pedestrian bridge to SkyTrain.

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Grand plaza area with Cactus Club Cafe; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Pedestrian bridge between the grand plaza and SkyTrain’s Brentwood Town Centre Station; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Immediately below the Starbucks is a two-storey McDonald’s restaurant located on the ground level, right on the Lougheed Highway frontage.

And for those looking for more a more premium cafe option, Small Victory plans to open an outpost near the plaza area.

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

The pavilion next to the grand plaza, with Starbucks on the top level and McDonald’s in the two levels below it; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

View of the grand plaza area from the SkyTrain station concourse; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Just south of this plaza is the grand staircase from the ground level of the intersection of Lougheed Highway and Willingdon Avenue.

The landscaped cascading stairs are a visual attraction on their own, and they are enhanced even further by programmable LED screens in the staircase — a public art feature that can display colour patterns and even inspirational words, just like the installation at Lincoln Center in New York City.

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Grand staircase with LED screen public art feature; Construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Grand staircase with LED screen public art feature; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Down below, a grand central lobby connects all the levels, including the parking levels; 1,400-vehicle parking stalls built for just this phase of the shopping mall are tucked under the plaza, on a sloped site, with two levels above ground and two levels below ground.

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Lower level near Lougheed Highway; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Grand central lobby; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

But TAB is far more than just a ground plain redevelopment, as this project is about verticality as well: the first phase has three of Metro Vancouver’s tallest towers, with a pair of residential towers reaching 612 ft (56 storeys) — just a few feet shy of Trump Tower International Hotel & Tower Vancouver in downtown — and a third mixed-use residential and office tower at 597 ft (55 storeys).

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Phase 1 residential tower; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Phase 1 residential towers; construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Tower One, one of the two tallest towers, will begin to reach tenancy this fall, with about 300 rental homes on the lower floors and 300 condominiums on the upper floors.

Altogether, the first phase entails approximately 1,700 homes, including the rentals, and TAB’s largest office space component, which will largely be occupied by a WeWork co-working location.

Due to the current office space shortage in the region, the developer is considering incorporating additional office space into future phases of TAB, beyond the target of 1.1 million sq. ft. of office space.

“Because there has been so much office demand, we are looking at how we can potentially facilitate that into the next phases,” said Kwiatkowski.

“Historically, office (demand) outside of downtown Vancouver hasn’t been that strong, and we’re seeing that changing now.”

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

The existing old indoor mall galleria at The Amazing Brentwood could either be renovated or demolished and replaced. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Altogether, the entire 28-acre redevelopment will be built over four phases, featuring over 250 stores and restaurants within 1.1 million sq. ft. of retail space (double the existing retail) 11 residential towers with over 6,000 homes combined.

The retail portion will include yet-to-be-named anchor tenants such as a yet-to-be-named grocery store and an upscale department store.

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Construction on the second phase could begin in two years, but this is dependent on whether a decision is made to renovate or demolish and replace the existing enclosed galleria mall — the structure with a distinctive white teflon fabric roof — located at the centre of the property.

As for the current phase of construction, the new public realm and the first stores are slated to open this fall, with the full slate of first phase stores opening by late spring of 2020.

The mall’s businesses are being gradually opened given that each tenant has varying construction timelines; larger scope tenants such as the Cineplex VIP Cinemas and Rec Room will require 300 days, while smaller clothing stores need just a few weeks. The food hall portion of the mall should be open by the June of next year.

TAB’s overall concept was designed by James Cheng Architects, before being further refined in detailed design by Stantec Architecture.

Artistic rendering of phase one of The Amazing Brentwood. (Shape Properties)

Artistic rendering of phase one of The Amazing Brentwood. (Shape Properties)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Amazing Brentwood Burnaby shopping mall July 2019

Construction progress on The Amazing Brentwood shopping mall on July 23, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Amazing Brentwood

Model of phase one of The Amazing Brentwood. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

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