Burnaby could gain childcare centre in Value Village redevelopment

The proposed redevelopment of the Burnaby Value Village site at the corner of Kingsway and Edmonds Street could yield a new childcare centre for the community.

Cressey Developments purchased the three-acre property last May. In July it started the rezoning application process with a preliminary proposal for a mixed-use multi-family residential and commercial project with three high-rise apartment towers and a shorter office building on a two-storey retail podium, according to a city staff report.

The developer wishes to use the city's density bonus provisions which city hall estimates would yield about $14 million as a community benefit if the rezoning goes ahead.

After assessing the community's needs, city staff are recommending that roughly $5 million of that be used to build, furnish and equip a licensed group childcare centre on the site, the report said. The centre would be about 7,000 square feet in size and located on the fourth or fifth level of the development's office building with an adjacent protected outdoor play area of about 5,275 square feet on top of the commercial podium.

The centre would serve about 70 children, ranging in age from infants to five years old. Burnaby city hall would own the facility, which would be leased to a non-profit childcare provider which would be responsible for its operating costs.

There is currently a "significant need" for childcare in both the immediate neighbourhood around the site and the southeast quadrant of Burnaby, the report said. The two existing city-owned childcare centres, Hanna Court and Taylor Park, are both full and have extensive waitlists. The proposed centre would also help address the vulnerability, from a child development perspective, of kindergarten children in the Stride, Middlegate and Edmonds areas.

Staff recommend that the remaining $9 million be taken as a cash-in-lieu contribution to the city. Under Burnaby city policy, 80 per cent ($7.2 million) would be deposited in the Edmonds Town Centre community benefit fund for use on future off-site amenities and 20 per cent ($1.8 million) would go into the city-wide housing fund designated for affordable or special needs housing initiatives.

Prior to the Cressey contribution, the Edmonds fund currently sits at $3.47 million while the housing fund has a current balance of $7.2 million.

On Monday, council referred the proposal back to the Community Development Committee for further discussion.

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