It is no surprise Sobeys closed its Safeway location at Lougheed Town Centre, according to Shape Properties.
Last month, Sobeys Inc., the parent company of Safeway, announced it was closing up to 10 Lower Mainland stores by May, including two in Burnaby – one at Royal Oak and Kingsway and the other at Lougheed Town Centre.
Both Burnaby locations will close for good at 6 p.m. on May 5.
The Lougheed Town Centre store, however, will be reborn as something entirely different, if Shape Properties gets its way.
The site at 9855 Austin Rd. is owned by Shape Properties and is part of an $827-million redevelopment project that will see the former Safeway store and surrounding mall transformed into the City of Lougheed. Construction on the first phase of the project at Austin Avenue and North Road has just begun, according to Darren Kwiatkowski, Shape Properties’ executive vice-president, development and acquisitions.
“The second phase is proposed to wrap from Austin along the west side of the property, which would incorporate the Safeway site as well,” he said. “We’re just starting to do detailed planning on that property now, so that is probably a two-year process before construction would commence.”While planning is ongoing, the future of the Safeway site is a green one, Kwiatkowski said.
The City of Lougheed redevelopment plan includes several new outdoor spaces, including a new two-acre park on the Safeway site.
“We’re excited that we can kind of start to not only build new buildings but build new plazas and parks.
With Sobeys’ lease for the Safeway Lougheed site up in 2019, Kwiatkowski said the development team had already begun planning its future before Sobeys announced it was closing the store. The closure just means things can get started a little sooner, as long as all goes as planned when it comes to obtaining rezoning and building permits from the City of Burnaby, he said.
“We’ll either find a temporary tenant or we’ll just close the store because it’s imminent that we want to get at it and demolish it,” he added.