Plans are advancing rapidly to develop a vacant industrial site in South Burnaby’s Big Bend industrial area into one of Metro Vancouver’s largest film and television production studios.
A rezoning application recently submitted by Bridge Studios aims to transform the 18.5-acre site at 3990 Marine Way – the southwest corner of the intersection of Glenlyon Parkway and Marine Way, just west of the Riverway Golf Course – into a state-of-the-art, purpose-built film and television production campus with two large buildings containing sound stages and a smaller support building.
However, Bridge Studios’ application to the City of Burnaby is just a technicality, as the city government sold the city-owned property to Larco Investments, Bridge Studios’ parent company, in November 2021 for $136 million. of dollars. The city selected Larco Investments following a bidding process that sought a buyer to turn the site into a film and television production studio.
The new Bridge Studios facility will have a total area of 723,000 square feet, including 16 sound stages totaling 316,000 square feet.
The smallest soundstage will be relatively large in size at 17,764 feet, while four soundstages will be over 20,000 square feet, including the largest at 27,756 square feet. The two large buildings with sound stages reach a height of approximately 70 feet, creating large ceiling heights that allow flexibility and use of spaces for complex, big-budget productions.
The production spaces will support 50,300 square feet of factory shop space, 21,000 square feet of costume space, 8,000 square feet of props space and 66,600 square feet of production space. lighting and gripping equipment storage, as well as a 4,400 square foot cafe, and 3,000 square foot fitness room.
The total ground area of the campus reaches 1.127 million square feet when other support, utility and common areas are added to the calculation.
A single underground level will provide 1,003 vehicle parking spaces to support the workforce scale and flexibility required for film and television production operations. Larco has previously stated that this facility will generate more than 1,000 jobs on site.
This campus in Big Bend is designed by CTA Architecture & Design, who also designed some of the latest extensions and upgrades to Bridge Studios’ existing 10-acre facility at 3880 Henning Drive (located on Boundary Road near Lougheed Highway).
Larco also has two other film and television production studio projects in development in Burnaby. This includes a 19-acre site currently occupied by a large warehouse at 3131 Lake City Way (next to SkyTrain Lake City Way station), as well as a five-acre property at 7705 Griffiths Drive (next to Edmonds Maintenance Center of SkyTrain) which would see its self-service storage structures demolished for a new purpose-built facility.
Site preparation prior to major construction activities at Bridge Studios’ Lake City Way campus is well advanced.
Burnaby is already home to more than 60% of the purpose-built soundstages in British Columbia.
Metro Vancouver needs significant additional new sound stages to support the growing interest of Hollywood and streaming services to bring their film and television productions to the area. Without these spaces, local industry will lose more work and jobs to production hubs in California, Ontario, Georgia and New York.
Current status of 3990 Marine Way:
Future state of 3990 Marine Way: