Spring open house set to look at future of former Safeway site
The public will soon have its say about the future of the former Safeway distribution centre site in southeast Burnaby.
Preliminary planning work has begun on the 48-acre site and an open house is expected this spring to gather public input on the early concepts and visioning for the project.
After 50 years as Canada Safeway's distribution warehouse for Western Canada, the operation was moved to Langley in February 2011. In 1989, the Lucerne Foods dairy plant was added which continues to operate on the site under a lease agreement, according to a city staff report.
Developer Ledingham McAllister purchased the warehouse and dairy plant site in December 2011 and since last spring has been considering how to redevelop the property, which is located between 15th and 18th streets and 11th and 14th avenues.
Due to its size and location within Edmonds Town Centre, "redevelopment of the site presents a unique opportunity to create a truly special place/neighbourhood, one that is inclusive and diverse, and fully integrated within the town centre."
James KM Cheng Architecture Inc. has been hired by the property owner to develop the key concepts which will guide the visioning process for the project.
The site has been dubbed "Southgate" to "assist in defining a new future identity for this transformative neighbourhood," the report said.
So far, city and project planners are considering using the site to create a third "node" in the town centre that relates to the first two—the primary node, the commercial and civic core at Kingsway and Edmonds Street, and the secondary one comprised of the office and residential developments around the Edmonds SkyTrain station.
Such a third node would "bring cohesion to this area, as well as an opportunity to strengthen the position of the Edmonds Town Centre within the city and this sub-region," it said.
"The preliminary vision for the site is a pedestrian-oriented, transit-connected community that reflects the natural beauty of Burnaby. At its heart, is a memorable gathering place comprised of various unique spaces that are accessible to people of all ages and abilities."
The project would need to be in line with Burnaby city hall's economic development, social sustainability and environmental sustainability strategies, it said.
That could include the creation of a "vibrant neighbourhood-scale commercial area." Water features would be a key component in the design of public spaces and community buildings should be designed to be flexible for a variety of community uses. It should also provide a variety of affordable home ownership and rental housing choices.
As for environmental sustainability, such goals could be met through the development of higher-density, transit-oriented neighbourhoods where building footprints are minimized, green buildings are promoted and the watershed is supported and enhanced.
The feedback collected from the yet-to-be-scheduled open house this spring will be used to guide and refine ideas to be incorporated into a comprehensive concept plan.
A public consultation process would take place for the concept plan, with that public input then being used to develop the site's master plan and detailed plans for the first phase of development, which would both be the subject of public hearings.
If approved, each subsequent phase of development would also require a rezoning process, including a public hearing.