The time for words is over. The time for shovels has just begun.
Three projects totaling 482 units can move forward after Port Moody council granted final approval – albeit with a few reservations – at Tuesday’s meeting.
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2025 St. Johns Street
During discussion of a two-building, six-storey, 222-unit development at 2025 St. Johns Street, Coun. Steve Milani turned the conversation toward high-priced market rents.
Milani, who previously voted against the proposal largely on the basis of increased traffic, noted that monthly rents at a development in Suter Brook are ranging from $4,650 for a one-bedroom to $6,050 for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit.
“How can council prevent this luxury, furnished suites issue from happening again, and is it too late to stop this type of luxury rental for the projects that we have tonight?” he asked.
“Who wants to take that question?” Mayor Rob Vagramov asked city staff. “How can we stop some corporate profiteering?”
Once a municipality approves market rentals, that municipality cannot limit rental rates, explained the city’s general manager of community development Kate Zanon.
“I’m not aware of any tools a municipality has to control market rental units because by the very nature of the definition . . . they are going to get the rents that the market will bear,” she said.
Milani asked city staff to look for a “creative solution,” to the issue.
“It would be really unfortunate if more developers chose to go the ultra mega luxury route,” he said.
The proposal includes 23 units secured as below-market rentals for either sixty years or the life of the building.
A public hearing on the project last November drew more than a dozen speakers speakers, the vast majority of whom backed the development as a way to revitalize an underutilized eyesore.
Council voted 3-2 to approve the project on Tuesday, with Milani and Vagramov opposed. Couns. Meghan Lahti and Zoe Royer did not attend the meeting.
3015-3093 Murray Street
Council also gave split-vote approval to a project slated to put 215 residential units in three mixed-use, six-storey buildings.
Situated over three lots, the projects also includes slightly more than 29,000 square feet of light industrial and commercial space and a two-storey parkade with spots for 352 parks.
The proposal includes 16 below-market rentals.
2101 Clarke Street and 2102-2106 St. Johns Street
Council was unanimous in their support for a 45-unit mixed-use apartment/townhouse development at Clarke and St. Johns streets.
Located on six vacant parcels, the project is set to include office space and a childcare expected to accommodate 79 children.
The development includes six units (two studios, three one-bedroom units and a one two-bedroom unit) set to be rented for between $1,300 to $2,000 per month over two years. At the end of that period, the rent paid could be put toward a down payment on the units.
Council previously voted down an eight-storey, 83-unit project proposed for the site.