Like Brentwood Town Centre before it, Metropolis at Metrotown appears to be next in line to undergo a transformative overhaul. Ivanhoe Cambridge, the owner of Metropolis at Metrotown and British Columbia's largest shopping centre, pulled the curtain back on conceptual plans to redevelop the car-oriented mall into a mixed-use community in a bid to cement the neighbourhood as Burnaby's downtown.

Metropolis at Metrotown, image by Flickr user GoToVan via Creative Commons

One of the largest redevelopment schemes in Metro Vancouver's history, Burnaby city officials have been working with Ivanhoe Cambridge in earnest over the past month after city council gave approval to create a masterplan for the 19-hectare site. 

Metropolis at Metrotown, image retrieved from Google Maps

Early plans envision four distinct precincts to be developed over four phases, with a new pedestrian-friendly street grid providing improved access to the property. The existing enclosed mall model will be eschewed, instead splitting retail evenly indoors and outdoors. Approximately 30 percent of the 5,600 proposed residential units, to be gradually built within every phase of the development, would be dedicated rentals.

Metropolis at Metrotown proposed precincts, image via Ivanhoe Cambridge

The first phase would see Ivanhoe Cambridge partnering with Concord Pacific, owner of the former Sears site, to revitalize the northernmost block of the property facing Kingsway. Construction could begin as soon as the latter half of 2021.

The plan also calls for 1.7 million square feet of office space, five acres of parks and public plazas, and a 250,000-square-foot live events complex. The decades-long redevelopment is not expected to be fully completed until 2086.

Metropolis at Metrotown phased development concept, image via Ivanhoe Cambridge

Ivanhoe Cambridge will hold another public consultation in the Spring before the final plan heads to council for consideration.

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