While it will be many years in the future, plans to redevelop the Metrotown area in Burnaby include taking down the Metropolis at Metrotown.
As the biggest mall in British Columbia, this news comes as a major shock to many of its residents.
Plans also include restructuring the surrounding Metrotown area. This area includes major residential zones and therefore affects a multitude of citizens in the area. While the vote unanimously passed in the city council meeting, it was met with sizeable frustration.
The council discussed how the population in the Metrotown area has steadily grown over the past few years and that the area would have to be restructured to accommodate this.
The city centre is currently the most populated one in British Columbia after downtown Vancouver. Also, it is expected to grow more rapidly in the coming years. Over 125,000 new residents are set to move into the city in by 2041.
Metrotown Future Plans
The plans came with some pushback, however.
Many Burnaby residents are strongly resisting the changes through group demonstrations. Business Vancouver reports that groups have already planned strategies for what they’ll do when the time comes to relocate. They quoted one woman from a group called Stop Demolitions, Zoe Luba, who said that “If we can convince whole buildings to break unjust evictions and refuse to be forcefully displaced, that’s a powerful movement,”
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They are planning to protest the current plans by staying in their homes, no matter what happens. Even after they evicted, many residents say they’ll refuse to leave.
Indeed, the restructuring would force many people to leave their homes. In addition, there are over 450 tenants in the four-story shopping mall that will need to relocate their stores.
The new plan envisions Metropolis as having an outdoor shopping centre. The area would become Burnaby’s downtown core. The concept would be open, include lots of streets lined with trees, big windows in storefronts and lovely promenades.
This would mean many of the tenants could still stay in the Metrotown area; however, they would have to remodel stores completely. There would also be a considerably lengthy restructuring period, and the costs involved considerably steep.
These changes would considerably change the area, but they won’t come fully come into effect for quite some time. The timeline on this movement could be up to 40 years.
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