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Massive Edmonds project goes to public hearing

The old Value Village in the Edmonds Town Centre is headed for a massive transformation.
Value Village redevelopment burnaby
This is an architectural rendering of the Kingsway and Edmonds Street redevelopment, showing the southwest corner of the site with the perspective facing north east, from Cressey Development Group.

Although the deals offered at the Value Village in Edmonds will surely be missed, its replacement proposes to be a new community hub.

The rezoning application for a mixed-use development with three highrise residential towers, an office building, two-storey retail podium and underground parking in the Highgate area is headed to public hearing on Jan. 28, 2014.

The proposed redevelopment, at 7350 Edmonds Street and 7338 Kingsway Avenue, was first brought to council's attention in July 2012. A Value Village and a multi-tenant building currently sit on the site.

"We are excited to build a landmark project that will add to the growth of the neighbourhood," Michael Sengara, development coordinator with Cressey Development Group, told the Burnaby NOW. "This particular corner of Kingsway and Edmonds is a prominent one, and the office building on the corner is a reflection of that."

IBI/HB Architects put forward the rezoning application on behalf of the developer, Cressey Development Group.

"Architecturally, the geometry of the site serves as an inspiration for the angular form of the building," Sengara added. "At the corner, we have also cut the building back, allowing for a covered pedestrian plaza."

The six-storey office building is proposed for the corner of Kingsway and Edmonds Street, with a triangular expression and coloured spandrel panels, LED lights, and will "provide a dramatic architectural statement at this prominent intersection," according to Lou Pelletier, director of planning and building.

The three highrise towers will vary in heights: the 37-storey feature tower, the site's focal point, at the corner of Kingsway and Edmonds; the 31-storey Kingsway tower, at the southeast corner of the site; and the 28-storey Edmonds tower at the northern corner of the site. The three towers will also have different shapes: triangular, curved and orthogonal.

"The varying heights of the three towers, as well as thoughtfully sculpted penthouse features, are intended to add interest to the skyline on the project site," Pelletier states. "Materials used include coloured glazing and aluminum panel."

The development will happen in two phases. The first phase will include the feature and Kingsway towers, office building and the southern portion of the commercial building.

In all, 803 units are proposed, with 898 residential parking spaces and 529 commercial spaces. The developer is providing two bike storage spaces per residential unit, 281 two-zone transit passes for one year and a car-sharing program.

"It is intended that the overall project would accommodate a broad spectrum of housing needs and affordability levels," Pelletier states.

In an attempt to offer affordable options, there will be junior one-bedroom units and 41 adaptable units, which will have designated handicap stalls.

"The development is also proposing a 'flexible three bedroom option,' whereby any studio unit can be optionally combined with an adjacent two-bedroom unit to create a three-bedroom suite, if there is a market demand," Pelletier states.

The proposed residential towers and office building will sit on top of the two-storey commercial podium, which already has proposed tenants, including a major food store, fashion store and other smaller retail businesses.

"To complement the built form, the developer is proposing a progressive program of public spaces and landscape treatment," Pelletier states. "A pedestrian plaza reflecting the unique geometry of the office building is proposed at the corner of Kingsway and Edmonds and will include a water feature, seating, public art, and in-ground LED lighting."

Another pedestrian plaza is proposed for Edmonds Street, which will serve as a gathering place with seating for an outdoor café and public art. Informal public spaces are proposed along Kingsway and Edmonds, including landscaped boulevards, street trees and casual seating.

A landscaped amenity is also proposed by the developer for building residents, which will include garden plots, a children's play area, an outdoor theatre, patios and a lawn bowling area.

In March, council approved taking the $14.93 million density bonus as a cash-in-lieu contribution for a future community amenity.

Pelletier notes in his report that the large nature of the development incorporates a comprehensive sign plan, meaning two skysigns are proposed for the office building. The skysigns will require a future rezoning application.