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Burnaby councillor opposes plan for film studio development

Coun. Alison Gu raised concerns about the ownership of a South Burnaby site marked for a future 300,000 square-foot film studio.

A new film production centre could be coming to South Burnaby’s Big Bend neighbourhood, but one city councillor has concerns about its ownership.

Between Greenall Avenue and Glenlyon Parkway, at 3990 Marine Way, an 18.5-acre plot of land could be developed into a 300,000 square-foot film studio with 16 film-production stages.

The City of Burnaby sold the land to Larco Investments Ltd. for $136 million in November 2021.

Coun. Alison Gu opposed the project at a council meeting on July 25, due to concerns about Larco’s ownership of the property.

“They are also a company that was leaked in the Panama Papers for holding hundreds of millions of dollars in offshore tax havens,” Gu said.

“I don’t believe we should be doing business with companies like that, who actively hurt the public taxpayer.”

Gu also disagreed with the sale of the public land to a private company.

The NOW reached out to Larco for comment, but the company did not respond by publication deadline.

Larco currently owns and operates Bridge Studios in Burnaby and is developing other Burnaby studio sites at Lake City Way and Griffiths Drive.

The Big Bend site would include support office space, a mill shop and other support space, according to a city staff report.

The site is currently forested, surrounded by light and heavy industrial developments. The CP Railway line runs along the south of the property.

The redevelopment would include 1,003 parking spaces.

Gu was the only councillor opposed to the rezoning and the project passed its first reading.

The rezoning will be up for public hearing on Aug. 30.