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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Report highlights appeal of redeveloping shopping centres on rapid transit lines

Thousands of new homes being added to Brentwood, Lougheed, Oakridge, Richmond Centre and others

A new report from Avison Young highlights the redevelopment of traditional shopping centres across the Lower Mainland into mixed-use communities with thousands of new residents, office space and retail.

The report “Future Forward: The Rise of Urban Enclaves in Metro Vancouver” shows that as land prices have skyrocketed across Metro Vancouver, investor interest has grown in the redevelopment of shopping centres along rapid transit and their surrounding surface parking lots, often under-utilized and several acres in size.

Municipalities have long encouraged high-density development along rapid transit lines, but the economics of such redevelopments have become better understood post-2010.

Projects highlighted in the report include Shape Properties redevelopment of Brentwood Town Centre into The Amazing Brentwood — an 11 tower, 6,000 unit residential development with up to one million square feet of office space and 1.1 million square feet of retail.

Aerial rendering
The Amazing Brentwood is a 28-acre master planned community at the heart of Metro Vancouver. Credit: SHAPE

The massive redevelopment has spurred activity on nearby sites such as Concord Brentwood, where 11 towers will also be built, as well as a 13-acre urban park.

Concord Brentwood
Birds eye view of the development, once fully built out. Credit: Concord Pacific

In Vancouver, the redevelopment of Oakridge Centre by QuadReal and Westbank Corp. will add 2,600 homes in 10 towers, as well as four midrise buildings.

It will also include one million square feet of retail, 430,000 sq ft. of office space, and a 70,000 sq. ft. civic centre.

688 West 41st Avenue Oakridge overall
Overall redevelopment scheme of Oakridge Centre. Credit: Henriquez Partners Architects

“These urban enclaves represent the beacons of density called for by city planners, progressive politicians and transit advocates alike,” says Andrew Petrozzi, principal and practice leader, research (BC) at Avison Young’s Vancouver office.

“These future communities serve as examples of a regional approach to planning that, for decades, was absent from the public discourse and now provides the blueprint for a future that can accommodate not only population growth, but economic and cultural development as well.” 

Other significant shopping centre redevelopments are in the planning stages or already underway in Richmond (Richmond Centre), Coquitlam (Coquitlam Centre) and Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby.

CF Richmond Centre Shape Properties redevelopment
Aerial of redevelopment of CF Richmond Centre by Shape Properties. Credit: Shape Living/Cadillac Fairview
Rendering of Coquitlam Centre redevelopment. Credit: Morguard Investments
Daytime aerial of site
Daytime aerial of first phase of redevelopment of Lougheed Town Centre. Credit: Shape Properties

To read the full report from Avison Young, click here.

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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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