Rezoning sought for Brentwood mall Tower 2

A rendering of the first phase of the Brentwood mall redevelopment. Developer Shape Properties has applied for a rezoning for the second tower, at right. A public hearing will be held Aug. 26.  - Shape Properties
A rendering of the first phase of the Brentwood mall redevelopment. Developer Shape Properties has applied for a rezoning for the second tower, at right. A public hearing will be held Aug. 26.
— image credit: Shape Properties

The second tower in the proposed redevelopment of Brentwood mall will go to public hearing next month.

Shape Properties Corp. is proposing to build a 53-storey highrise on top of a three-storey commercial podium.

The podium will include new retail space located around a civic plaza connected to the SkyTrain station. It was approved by council earlier this year, as was another 53-storey tower to be located atop the podium at the corner of Willingdon Avenue and Halifax Street. The 288 units available for sale in that building sold out within hours last month after some buyers camped out for days in tents.

The second tower will be located at the corner of Alpha Avenue and Lougheed Highway. As in the first highrise, 300 of the 591 apartments will be rental units to be owned and operated by Shape and its funding partners. The first 25 floors will be for the rental units while the strata units will be in the upper 27 storeys.

There will be two complete and separate lobbies, each with their own elevators, concierge services, seating areas and mail rooms. The rental lobby will front onto Lougheed and the strata lobby onto Alpha.

The proposed rental units will range in size from 539 to 911 square feet and are to comprise 125 one-bedrooms, 75 one-bedroom-plus-dens, 75 two-bedrooms and 25 two-bedroom-plus-dens.

At Monday's council meeting Coun. Pietro Calendino questioned the reduced amount of parking designated for the use of rental unit tenants. The developer had provided a study that determined the demand from rental units for dedicated parking is half that of strata units.

Planning director Lou Pelletier explained that all the parking typically required for a project this size will be built. But part of it will be designated initially for use by the customers and staff of the commercial spaces.

If more tenants than expected request parking it will come from those surplus commercial spaces, Pelletier said.

Mayor Derek Corrigan noted that underground parking spaces can cost $40,000 to $50,000 each to build so the plan is a compromise to encourage the development of much-needed new rental housing close to transit.

"I think there's a generation that's coming that's going to look at a car as an unnecessary expense in situations like this and there is going to be a reduction [in demand for parking]."

Corrigan added that it will be market rental housing, not subsidized social housing. "The rents are going to reflect the marketplace. If you want parking you will have to pay for that privilege."

The Brentwood Site Conceptual Master Plan approved by council last year for the 28-acre site allows towers up to 70 storeys tall, said a city staff report.

If the rezoning is approved by council, the developer will contribute $4.56 million to the city in exchange for bonus density. Of that, 80 per cent will fund future amenities in the Brentwood area while 20 per cent will go into a city-wide, affordable or special-needs housing account.

The public hearing will be held Tuesday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. in city hall council chambers.

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