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Redevelopment of Metrotown Sears site includes 65-storey tower

The rezoning of the Sears site at Metrotown in Burnaby is moving ahead at the same time the retailer liquidates its department stores across the country and prepares to shut down.

Concord Pacific has owned the Metrotown Sears site for several years, and is preparing to begin phase one of the redevelopment, which will see three new residential towers built on the Sears parking lot at the corner of Kingsway and Nelson.

Sears Metrotown redevelopment phase one plan
Plan for phase one of the redevelopment of the Sears Metrotown site. Credit: City of Burnaby

The existing Sears department store will be replaced by a tower as well, but not until phase four of the redevelopment.

Phase one will see three residential towers constructed, ranging from 35 to 65 storeys, with the tallest, signature tower located at the corner of Kingsway and Nelson. There will be a total of 1,309 residential units in phase one, ranging from studios to four-bedroom units. Concord is targeting a LEED Gold standard.

The development — which is being designed by IBI Group for Concord — will feature curved façades and rooflines, as well as graphic elements along the balcony glass. The tallest tower will be elevated in materials and design in order to “bookend” Kingsway with another signature tower proposed to the west, as part of the Station Square redevelopment by Anthem Properties.

The existing plaza at the corner of Kingsway and Nelson will be replaced by three new open, public spaces within phase one. McMurray Avenue will be extended south of Kingsway through the Sears site, and a new public space called the “Stream Plaza” will front onto McMurray and include opportunities for water play, seating areas and spots for restaurant and café patios.

A “Lake Plaza” will be located at the southwest corner of Kingsway and Nelson, in a semi-covered space under the tower. The description of the plaza in city rezoning documents indicates that the signature tower will have a 40 ft. tall high space at its centre, with water flowing beneath. A small parklet is also proposed for the corner of Nelson and Metro Way.

Sears Metrotown redevelopment future phases

Sears Metrotown redevelopment phasing plan
Phasing plan for the redevelopment of the Sears Metrotown property in Burnaby, by Concord Pacific. Credit: City of Burnaby

Phase two:

  • One residential tower between 40-55 storeys

Phase three:

  • Two residential towers between 20-45 storeys
    • two levels of retail space, with opportunity for one major retail anchor

Phase four:

  • One office tower between 20-30 storeys
    • two levels of retail space, also with opportunity for major retail anchor

The redevelopment plan will head to a public hearing November 28, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in Burnaby.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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