October 23, 2012
Putting the ‘Town’ in Metrotown
Project size: 1,802 condominiums in five towers. Phase 1: 269 homes
Residence size: Studio, One- bedroom, One-bedroom + den, Two bedrooms, Two bedrooms + den; 476 — 1,382 sq. ft.
Prices: From the low $280,000s
Sales Centre: #115, 4600 Kingsway at McKay Ave., Burnaby
Hours: noon — 5 p.m., Saturday — Thursday
Developers: Anthem Properties and Beedie Living
Architect: Chris Dikeakos Architects
Interior Design: Bob’s Your Uncle Design
Warranty: National 2-5-10 new-home warranty
Occupancy: Fall 2015
The Station Square 10 design principles, as presented on the project’s website:
1. Kingsway as the gateway
Recognizing Kingsway as being a great street and the gateway to Burnaby, building on its success to create the ultimate address.
2. Authentic urban experience
Vibrant stores, restaurants and cafés create genuine vibrant streets with substance.
3. Pedestrians rule
A walkable community that puts pedestrians first by integrating high-quality public spaces.
4. Mixed-use community
A community that thrives with a combination of residential, retail and office uses.
5. Distinctive sense of place
An inviting place for public gatherings and interaction that has its own identity.
6. Built to a human scale
Everything, including how buildings meet the street and the size of city blocks, is designed for connecting.
7. Welcoming neighbourhoods
Good neighbours make great neighbourhoods – everyone has an interest in a safe, secure environment.
Opportunities for communities to come together, day and night, to get to know each other.
9. Gentle mix of traffic
Well-planned vehicle management ensures that everyone can use the street safely and efficiently.
10. Socially, economically and environmentally sustainable
Station Square has intelligently integrated these principles throughout the entire community.
Special to The Sun
The redevelopment of Station Square is finally putting the “town” in Metrotown. Conceived in Burnaby’s 1977 community plan as a mixed-use pedestrian-friendly town centre, Metrotown wound up as more of a shopping centre with multiple malls, including Anthem Properties’ Station Square on Kingsway between McKay Avenue and Station Street. Now Anthem is partnering with Beedie Living to transform the 12-acre Station Square site with five residential towers, 310,000 square feet of retail and 145,000 square feet of office space.
Residential sales launch today. The project is based on 10 urban design principles intended to create a walkable mixed-use community emphasizing public spaces and experiences while setting a new urban standard for the Metrotown area. “It’s a little city within a city,” says Greg Zayadi, Anthem’s director of sales and marketing. “It’s an incredibly urban dense project once it’s complete. It really becomes the core of Metrotown.”
The residential towers, ranging from 35 to 57 storeys, will rise above green-roofed podiums with commercial space at ground level and offices on the second and third floors. Each tower will be punctuated by eight storeys of double-height “skyhomes” partway up one corner and framed in Alucobond, an iridescent aluminum composite material that changes colour with the light. Yet the backbone of the project around which Station Square is designed is not the stunning buildings, but the spaces around them: the streets and public places where people gather.
Outdoor “city rooms” landscaped with water features, public art and colourful furniture will be scattered throughout the site. Along Kingsway, an “urban trail” for bikes, rain gardens for water run-off, trees and wider sidewalks will make the entrance to Station Square more welcoming. Silver Drive, running through the centre of the site, will become a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare lined with stores and restaurants.
A major component of the retail is the redevelopment of the existing mall on Central Boulevard near the SkyTrain and bus loop, beginning in January. By fall 2014, the whole south end of the site will have all new commercial space to be occupied by existing tenant Future Shop, along with new businesses such as a restaurant and medical clinic. Current tenants Overwaitea Foods and TD Bank, plus a new coffee shop, will move into the first tower in 2015.
“It’s that sort of fact that Metrotown itself is a truly established community and neighbourhood that’s making the purchasers specifically interested in this site,” Zayadi says. “The fact that it’s five towers, that it’s mixed use, that it’s got all of this going on, it’s next door to Metropolis, next door to Crystal Mall, next door to the library, on SkyTrain, on bus loop, all of those things combined, the decision to buy at Station Square for a lot of people is being made by location, amenities, transportation. I mean, yeah, ‘I want a one-bedroom,’ ‘I want a two-bedroom,’ ‘Oh, I like that colour scheme,’ but that’s not what’s driving them in. It’s truly about the location and the transportation.”
That said, the homes are as well thought-out as the rest of the project. There are two display suites, a 600-square-foot one-bedroom in the lighter Classic colour scheme and an 890-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bathroom in the darker Contemporary palette. Kitchens are clean-lined with flat-panel wood-veneer lower cabinets with recessed door pulls and white glass-front upper cabinets. Black or white quartz is used for both the countertop and the backsplash, which has a sleek inset metal strip echoing the trim on the upper cabinets. Storage is plentiful: lots of closets and drawers, including one tucked under the range; two deep drawers below the bathroom vanity; smartly placed shelves and cupboards built into the side of the kitchen island that faces the living room. Windows run from floor to ceiling for maximum light and views, which are unobstructed by the area’s mainly low- and mid-rise buildings.
“We had to put a lot into it,” says Zayadi. “This is not selling 269 units,” the number of suites in the first tower. “It’s selling 1,800 units. So you might not buy from us today, but you might two, three, four buildings down the road. This is a building that, when it’s finished, your friends are going to come over, their friends are going to come over, people are going to know what they’re getting. It’s going to set the expectation and the standard for the development.”
And for Metrotown.