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City of Burnaby sues developer over ‘cracking and deformation’ of city streets, sidewalks

Burnaby is suing the developer of Gilmore Place in Brentwood Town Centre for ‘negligence’ in construction of a massive highrise development.

The City of Burnaby is suing the developer of a major highrise project over “significant damage” to its sidewalks and streets.

The city says construction on the Gilmore Place development by Onni Group on the western side of Brentwood Town Centre has resulted in “cracking and deformation” of city sidewalks and streets, according to a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court.

Onni is developing a five-tower highrise project at Gilmore SkyTrain Station at 2108 Gilmore Ave., 4161 Dawson St. and 4180 Lougheed Hwy., with retail and offices on the ground floor.

Construction on the project includes deep excavation and pile driving, according to the filing.

The city says the construction of Gilmore Place caused the city’s property to settle, and the excavation caused “a reduction in groundwater level” nearby and “settlement of nearby soils.”

Burnaby is also suing architect IBI Group, structural engineers of record Bryson Markulin and Glotman Simpson, consultancy GeoPacific, as well as two “unknown construction contracting companies.”

The city said the defendants “owed a duty of care” to the city to ensure the work complied with regulations and “prudent construction design.”

The damage was “directly caused or contributed to” by the defendants, according to the city, which claimed the defendants “knew or ought to have known that the construction of Gilmore Place would lead to the property damage” and had a duty to warn the city the defendants’ work “would give rise to the property damage.”

“The defendants’ breach of duty and nuisance have caused and continue to cause the city to suffer loss and damage,” the city’s lawyers said, including costs to repair and investigate the damage, legal claims and increased property maintenance costs.

The city claims its property “continues to suffer damage due to the ongoing construction.”

The city is seeking general damages for negligence and failure to warn, special damages and interest.

The Gilmore Place project made headlines in 2021 as at the time it was expected to become the tallest tower in B.C. at more than 200 metres high.

The suit comes months after Burnaby resident and former city council candidate Martin Kendell complained to city council about unsafe sidewalks around the Gilmore Place development.

The defendants have not yet filed a response.

The city’s claims have not been tested or proven in court.