August 1, 2012
I like the idea of Burnaby’s town centres. They are a good example of transit oriented development (TOD): having high density mixed-use development situated around rapid transit nodes. In the case of Brentwood though, there are a few things that are keeping the town centre from being a really great walkable community. The first is the mall, located as it is in the middle of a large surface parking lot (taking up valuable land right next to the Skytrain station). The other is the design of the major roads. Lougheed and Willingdon are both wide roads with many lanes of fast-moving traffic and small sidewalks with little buffer from the road. These two things make for a pretty poor pedestrian experience in the area. That’s why I am happy to hear about the proposed redevelopment of the Brentwood Town Centre mall.
Shape Properties, the owner of the mall, recently released updated plans for the transformation of the mall lands into a high-density mixed-use centre that would act as the heart of the Brentwood neighbourhood. The plan is to create a highly walkable and accessible commercial and residential area, and a number of features help accomplish this goal:
These changes address my concerns with the area and will certainly make for a healthier and more vibrant town centre. No timeline is given for the redevelopment, but the Southwest portion of the site which borders Lougheed and Willingdon would be the first to be redeveloped. Hopefully this happens sooner rather than later.
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