Tower One at The City of Lougheed 9855 Austin Road Burnaby 500 homes in a 55 storey tower by Shape Properties

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Huge City of Lougheed to rise on 40-acre-site in Burnaby

Michael Bernard
The Vancouver Sun

Project: The City of Lougheed

Project Address: 9855 Austin Road, Burnaby

Project Scope: A total of 500-plus one-, two- and three-bedroom homes contained in Tower One, a 55-storey concrete highrise sited in the community’s “first neighbourhood.” One of 23 towers on a 40-acre site at Lougheed Mall. An 18,000-square-foot amenities area on a raised podium will include activity rooms, fitness, lounge facilities. Located on two SkyTrain lines, there will be more than 300 shops, restaurants serving the neighbourhoods.

Prices: From $329,900 for one-bedroom homes starting at 550 square feet

Developer: Shape Properties Corp.

Architect: James K. M. Cheng Architects (master plan) GBL Architects (Tower One)

Interior Designer: Shape Living Interior Design

Sales centre: 9850 Austin Road, Burnaby

Centre hours: 10 a.m. — 6 p.m., daily

Sales phone: 604-328-7128


Occupancy: Late 2020

The City of Lougheed, a $7-billion plan to build what is purportedly the largest master-planned community in Canada, will feature up to 23 residential towers, public plazas and pocket parks in a 16-city block area and more than 300 stores in a reconceived Lougheed Mall.

Developer Shape Properties Corp. has already opened its three show homes for its planned 55-storey Tower One highrise building in an 18,000-square-foot presentation centre on Austin Road.

Architect James Cheng, whose firm is overseeing the award-winning master plan, says the challenge of such a large project is to make “a better city for people to move into, not just by increasing density”, but by building individual communities with amenities and services to which they can walk rather than drive.

“People will walk everywhere,” the architect said. “When you move to Lougheed, most of the time you won’t have to use your car. Everything is self-sufficient. You go downstairs and walk outside and you have everything. You can have your bowl of noodles or you can buy a wedding gown.”

A major asset for the City of Lougheed, he said, is that it already sits in the middle of a major transportation hub where two SkyTrain lines and a major bus loop meet, ensuring the master-planned development will thrive as a community.

“People are not just interested in buying into a single apartment building in the middle of nowhere,” Cheng said in an interview. “They like to know when they buy there, its easy to go the airport, to go downtown, to catch a show, to recreate, to be entertained, and also they want to be safe.”

 Cheng says without planning, “towers would be springing up willy-nilly everywhere.” Instead, his firm clustered the towers in seven “character precincts” or neighbourhoods, to which residents feel attached and identify, as they do in any city. “In Vancouver, if you live in Kitsilano, you know you live in Kitsilano, and you’re not worried about Dunbar or Kerrisdale.”

Separating the clusters of three and four towers will be pocket parks, public plazas with water features, and landscaped gardens, he said. One neighbourhood, called Creekside, will even have a revitalized creek brought to the surface after running underground through a culvert beneath Lougheed Mall’s parking lots. Another stretch, called the Grand Promenade, will be comparable to Paris’ Avenue des Champs-Elysees or Chicago’s Michigan Avenue with its extra wide sidewalks and shops.

At 40 acres, the City of Lougheed is one of the largest new master-planned communities in Canada, if not in North America, said Darren Kwiatkowski, Shape’s executive vice-president, development and design. The only other project of comparable size is one called the Hudson Yard project in New York, said Kwiatkowski.

Called a “super regional shopping centre,” City of Lougheed has attracted commitments from several major tenants to anchor 1.4 million square feet of retail space, including Walmart, Hudson’s Bay, London Drugs, Safeway, Sport Check and H & M, among others. Another one million square feet is designated for commercial office space.

The City of Lougheed will house some 10,000 residents, about double the New York development’s anticipated population, he said.  

Cheng’s firm shared with the city of Burnaby an award from the Planning Institute of B.C. for excellence in planning practice for the City of Lougheed master plan. Karin Hung, Burnaby’s senior current planner, said the city is most proud of the fact that new residents and the general public will enjoy use of a number of facilities in the development.

“Significant public amenities will be delivered with each phase of development,” she said in an email. “Thirty per cent of the core area will be public open space, including a civic park and plaza at the heart of the core area, a weather-protected transit plaza, a naturalized creekside park, a pair of terraced pocket parks, and an extensive network of tree-lined streets.

“The area will have 4.5 kilometres of new pedestrian pathways, five kilometres of new cycling routes, and 3.5 kilometres of upgraded sidewalks.”

As the plan is executed, she said, there will be a continuous stream of bonus funds directed back into the community for major civic amenities, including a community centre, pool and library or other amenities such as affordable housing, non-profit office space and public art.

Tower One will be in the southeast quadrant of the City of Lougheed at the corner of North Road and Austin, less than a one-minute walk to the Skytrain, said sales manager Angelica Yang.

Home sizes will range from 550 to 1,250 square feet with an impressive array of floor layouts. There are eight one-bedroom models, 10 models of two-bedroom and two bedroom and den homes, three three-bedroom models and two versions of the three-bedroom and den suites.

All suites come with balconies that have room for outdoor furniture. The balconies are generously proportioned with a one-bedroom model of 561 square feet having close to an equal amount of outdoor space (496 square feet) Balcony space for two bedroom models range up to 661 square feet and include wrap-around configurations. Some three-bedroom models come with two balconies, each facing in different direction taking in spectacular views.

All suites have at least one parking stall and a storage locker.

Retail is mixed in throughout the whole development, Yang said. Buyers can feel confident that Shape will be there years from now overseeing the roll-out. “We control the entire asset and we have a long-term commitment to the master plan.”

Inside the homes, Shape prides itself on making the best use of space. Homes have floor-to-ceiling glass allowing in lots of light. Every kitchen is configured in an “L” shape with an island topped by polished stone. Appliances are premium quality Bosch with a gas cooktop, and a wall oven, refrigerator and dishwasher integrated into full-height European cabinets that provide 30 per cent more storage space.

Providing additional storage space is a full-height kitchen pantry. Finishing off the modern look is recessed lighting and a marble herringbone backsplash. Shape has also created dedicated space in most homes for owners to add a computer work station.

The 18,000-square-foot amenities facility spans three levels. Inside, residents can organize game nights and table tennis tournaments, enjoy yoga, Pilates or intense cardio workouts, host festive holiday dinners in private event lounges with full kitchens.

Residents can enjoy spectacular sunsets and fresh air on the facility’s rooftop with its community garden plots for raising vegetables and areas for lounging and open-air yoga. The space also includes outdoor sitting areas and barbecue areas.

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