Concept plan for Southgate community includes up to 20 towers
Upwards of 20 towers are being proposed in the concept plan for the new Southgate neighbourhood in South Burnaby.
The towers would range in height from 19 to 46 storeys, according to an illustration in the city planning report on the concept plan.
The 48-acre site is located on the former Safeway distribution centre and dairy plant property between 15th and 18th streets and 11th and 14th avenues. It closed as a distribution centre for Canada Safeway when the operation was moved to Langley in 2011. The site was purchased by developer Ledingham McAllister in December 2011.
A preliminary concept and vision by James KM Cheng Architecture Inc. was presented at an open house last year. The new concept plan, by architects IBI Group and PWL Partnership, incorporates the input received back then. It is expected to be brought to another open house sometime in June.
The concept proposes the site be transformed into five complete neighbourhoods dubbed the Gateway, Ernie Winch Park, Crescent, Courtyard and Island neighbourhood areas.
At the heart will be a five-acre park with a 20,000-square-foot community building, all connected by an integrated system of parks and open spaces. About 40 per cent of the site will be public open space, the report said.
The concept plan proposes a total of 5.88 million square feet of market residential gross floor area and 588,365 square feet of affordable/non-market housing gross floor area. There would also be up to 200,000 square feet of commercial space along 16th Street and Southgate Crescent to serve the neighbourhoods.
Lower density buildings are proposed along the edges of the neighbourhoods, with higher densities more central.
As a point of comparison, the master plan for redevelopment of the 28-acre Brentwood mall site calls for up to 11 residential towers—with the tallest up to a maximum height of 70 storeys—and two office buildings.
The Gateway neighbourhood is proposed for the northwest part of the site to serve, as its name would suggest, as its formal gateway. It would be mainly residential with mid- to low-rise structures but possibly also "the strategic siting of iconic residential towers, which punctuate entry" into the neighbourhood.
The Ernie Winch area in the northeast part of the site would have retail on the western edge along the 16th Street commercial corridor. Like Gateway, it would be characterized by a meandering stream running parallel to the planned road connection of 13th Avenue across the site. Most buildings would be mid- to low-rise.
The Crescent would be characterized by the promenade along the central park where people can gather and socialize. Amenities would include cafés, restaurants and other services. Buildings would be mid- to high-rise structures, with "sophisticated and elegant residential towers."
The Courtyard neighbourhood along the southeast part of the site would be characterized by mid-to low-residential buildings. The Island neighbourhood in the southwest portion would have an "iconic residential tower located on an island feature, surrounded by water and a naturalized public realm environment." It would transition down to mid- to low-rise structures along 11th Avenue and 18th Street.
Following the open house, public comments will again be used to guide development of the planning process which will ultimately result in a master plan, which would require a rezoning and public hearing. If that's approved, a rezoning and public hearing would also be required for each phase of development.
Full development of the community is expected to take 15 to 20 years.