Burnaby outpaces Vancouver in tower development

By Specialist In Real Estate Industry |



Burnaby is putting up a forest of highrise residential towers over the next 25 years, far outstripping anything contemplated by Vancouver.

Targeting land around rapid transit nodes and four malls — Metrotown, Brentwood, Lougheed and Edmonds, developers have at least 106 highrise residential buildings with more than 30,000 units proposed or under construction. Of those, 47 are 40 storeys or more in height, according to data collected by a real estate expert with Colliers International. By comparison, there are 68 highrises under development in Vancouver, of which only 13 are 40 storeys or taller.

The scale of the development is dramatically reshaping Burnaby, which has long been content to be a bedroom community to Vancouver and its job-centric downtown core. Burnaby’s town centres developed as local or regional malls surrounded by low-density rental housing or single-family neighbourhoods, but they are now transforming into dense urban communities with towers rivalling those in Vancouver.

Around Brentwood and Gilmore no less than 46 towers, ranging from 25 to 65 storeys, are planned. And at Lougheed Town Centre, on the eastern edge bordering Coquitlam, at least 23 towers up to 65 storeys are planned around the soon-to-be finished Evergreen SkyTrain line. The expansive former Dairyland and Safeway industrial complex near Edmonds will have 19 towers up to 44 storeys tall.

But this pace of development also highlights a disparity between how developers are treated in Burnaby and Vancouver and what the cities expect from them. Many proponents of Burnaby’s biggest projects are developers like Shape Properties, Concord Pacific, Onni, Ledingham McAllister, Polygon, Beedie Industrial and Anthem Properties.