Council positive about Lougheed mall redevelopment

Burnaby Coun. Pietro Calendino -
Burnaby Coun. Pietro Calendino
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The idea of redeveloping Lougheed Town Centre mall and the surrounding area is getting a thumbs up from several Burnaby council members.

"It's very exciting to see we'll be turning another huge parking lot into an urban environment," said Coun. Pietro Calendino. "When that happens it's always a positive event for any city."

As reported in the NewsLeader, mall owner Shape Properties Corporation, which also owns and is redeveloping Brentwood Town Centre mall, is planning a massive makeover to Lougheed mall which takes up almost 15 hectares (37 acres) at the corner of Austin and North roads.

Council was commenting Monday on a preliminary concept plan for the Lougheed core area which extends beyond the mall site to encompass almost 25 hectares (just over 61 acres).

The concept plan calls for the area to be transformed into a "vibrant, pedestrian-oriented, transit-connected, mixed-use neighbourhood comprised of different precincts, each with a distinct and unique architectural and landscape expression," said a city staff report. In addition to indoor and outdoor shopping areas, the vision includes "cafes and restaurants, office space, and high-density residential opportunities, all designed around potential new public plazas, open spaces, and tree-lined pedestrian streets."

Council approved the concepts as a starting point for a public consultation process that will include an open house early this year.

Coun. Dan Johnston said they want the public to let city hall and the developer know "whether this vision of Lougheed Town Centre is what the community is looking for and whether there should be tweaks."

Mayor Derek Corrigan stressed council has not yet made any decisions and it is "critical" that the public bring forward its ideas and suggestions for the area now during the planning process.

"Anytime we're taking an old-fashioned mall and we're translating it to an urban centre it is a very, very exciting time for everyone," Corrigan said. "There are massive benefits to be gained for the surrounding community, not just in increased property values but in the amenities that will be offered close to home."

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