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Film studio development in Burnaby falls through, mayor now wants to 'protect' land

The plan for a new film production studio in Big Bend by Larco Investments (Bridge Studios) is not going ahead, according to the Burnaby mayor.

Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley wants to take advantage of a film studio proposal falling through to enhance the ecology of the property, according to a new council report. 

The City of Burnaby had previously sold the 18.5-acre property (including part of a road) at 3990 Marine Way for $136 million to Larco Investments Ltd., owner of Bridge Studios, in 2021.

Larco planned to build a 300,000-square-foot film studio with 16 sound stages, mill shops and office space.

Now Mayor Mike Hurley has submitted a motion to council that says: "Larco has expressed that they do not wish to proceed with the studio development at this time and would be withdrawing their rezoning application."

The motion does not give a reason for Larco dropping out of the project.

The Burnaby NOW has reached out to Larco and the City of Burnaby for more information.

The 3990 Marine Way property in Burnaby (marked by red pin). Google Maps

Hurley recommended staff study whether the city can protect "environmentally and recreationally valuable assets" at 3990 Marine Way, "as well as natural creek and wetland features for the benefit and enjoyment of the community."

The mayor's motion stated the withdrawal of the application means staff and council can "revisit the land use designation of the subject site and best ways to protect ecological features for the city as part of that review."

Council will discuss the motion and vote on it April 15.

Part of Larco's development plan included enhancements to riverside areas near Kaymar and Glenlyon creeks.

The developer had submitted a rezoning application in 2021 for the film studio.

Larco has owned and operated Bridge Studios in Burnaby since 2007, with sites at 2400 Boundary Rd. and 7705 Griffiths Rd.

It is also developing another studio at Lake City Way (7725 Lougheed Hwy.), estimated to be complete in spring 2025.