More condos proposed for Brentwood industrial area

The industrial area in Brentwood town centre south of Lougheed Highway could continue its transformation into a residential neighbourhood if two projects get the okay from Burnaby council.

Solterra Acquisition Corp. has applied for a rezoning of 2450 Alpha Ave., a parcel of almost one acre between Dawson and Alaska streets. It proposes building a high-rise apartment building with apartments or townhouses at a podium level to camouflage the above-ground parking.

City staff are proposing guidelines for the area bordered by Dawson and Alaska streets and Alpha and Beta avenues taking into account factors such as geotechnical and groundwater issues, according to a report on the Solterra application.

The proposed guidelines are that the area result in a mix of six to eight mid- to high-rise apartment buildings ranging in height from 15 to 30 storeys. Podium-level apartments or townhouses, potentially used to screen above-ground parking structures, would be a maximum of four storeys along fronting streets. Retail would be considered at ground level along Dawson.

City staff have encouraged Solterra to acquire the property next door, the site of the Carter automotive body shop at 2460 Alpha Ave., as part of its project. But the owner of that parcel is not willing to sell and has stated any future sale would be together with the rest of the Carter automotive dealership lands, the report said.

It noted that "a substantial portion" of the Carter auto body site is intended to be dedicated as road right-of-way for the extension of Alaska Street. That would make the remainder of the site too small for a future multi-family housing development.

Over on the other side of Willingdon Avenue, Porte Development Corp. has applied to rezone 4305 and 4349 Dawson St. on the northeast corner with Madison Avenue. It proposes constructing a six-storey, mixed-use building—five storeys of wood-frame construction above one level of concrete—with commercial space at street level, apartments above and full underground parking.

The six storey plan is due to the fact an underground rail tunnel is located on the eastern part of the site, a city staff report said.

"As the rail tunnel imposes significant challenges on the site in terms of building siting and underground parking, the site's available density is proposed to be coalesced west of the rail tunnel, at the corner of Madison Avenue and Dawson Street."

Burnaby planning director Lou Pelletier told council Monday that the six-storey height is "really dealing with the conditions of the site rather than setting the standard for Dawson."

Council gave city staff the go-ahead to work with both Solterra and Porte toward  development plans that could be presented at future public hearings.

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