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Korean food supplier plans to turn auto garage into Burnaby grocery store

The city approved a temporary use permit for a grocery store in the Royal Oak neighbourhood.

Korean food supplier T-Brothers Food & Trading Ltd. is planning to turn an auto garage into a grocery store in Burnaby’s Royal Oak neighbourhood.

The company successfully applied for a temporary use permit from the city to allow a 596-metre-square (6,415-square-foot) retail grocery store for up to three years at 5609 Imperial St., previously home to a Craftsman Collision.

Currently on the site is a one-storey commercial building and mezzanine that previously housed the auto repair garage and office space with surface parking, according to a city staff report.

The city’s zoning bylaw doesn’t allow grocery stores larger than 280 square metres in the area where the store is proposed.

But staff said this grocery store will benefit the neighbourhood.

“Given the absence of grocery stores nearby and the increase of residential development in the surrounding area, the proposed temporary use is expected to be of considerable benefit to employees and residents in the area,” stated the report, adding the proposed temporary use doesn’t include any new buildings or additions.

The report noted there is an ongoing review of the neighbourhood plan as well.

Council unanimously approved the permit March 25.

The proposal also includes operation of an “outdoor mobile retail cart.”

The building’s interior will be renovated to include open grocery aisles, freezer and refrigeration displays, a deli with walk-in coolers, a cashier area, packing room and employee lounge.

Billed as “Canada’s foremost Korean food supplier,” T-Brothers imports and distributes more than 10,000 Korean brands and agricultural products, according to the company website.

Architectural designs for planned grocery store in Burnaby's Royal Oak neighbourhood. T-Brothers Food & Trading/Cloudscape Architecture Inc./City of Burnaby