Office buildings planned for Braid Street SkyTrain Station in New Westminster
The owners of a 38-acre site next to Braid SkyTrain Station in New Westminster could soon get to work building two office buildings.
The zoning is in place, and they hope to soon get approval to begin construction.
And they plan to begin a conversation with residents in April about what will be done with the rest—about 30 acres—of the large property.
The land, owned by Bentall Kennedy, currently consists of a vacant lot and a massive warehouse/distribution facility.
The owner is seeking a development permit for the two office buildings on the southwest portion of the site, a use that conforms to the existing zoning
The proposed master plan for the remaining portion would require an amendment to the city's Official Community Plan, the development of design guidelines and a future rezoning.
This would require an "extensive public review process," a report coming to city council on Monday (March 7) states.
To that end, the proponent, represented by consultant Gary Pooni of Brook Pooni Associates, hopes to begin engaging residents as soon as next month.
The site is designated as business park in the city's Brunette Creek Neighbourhood Plan, which allows for business park and related uses, including "non-population dependent office uses and/or public transportation facilities. In the Brunette Creek neighbourhood, residential uses will also be considered within this designation."
According to the report, "The Braid Station area is seen as being strategically significant to the city to meet future employment needs, research and development opportunities and synergies related to the Royal Columbian Hospital. It is also seen as an opportunity to explore the development of an exemplary transit-oriented community with retail and services to meet the needs of the local community and SkyTrain riders, as well as potentially some residential development."
Creating an office park next to a SkyTrain station meets the city's goals outlined in its Official Community Plan, its Livable City Strategy and the strategies contained in the new Regional Growth Strategy, the report stated.
If approved by council, public consultation for the master plan could begin in April and include community forums, informational open houses and hands-on workshops; meetings with interested groups such as residents' associations and business groups; and the development of a Community Advisory Group to provide input into the development of the plan.
The city notes that the next round of consultation for the United Boulevard Extension project is also about to begin and that there could be conflicts.
"Staff will work with the consultant to prevent any overlap in consultation activities," the report states.