A glimpse of the first development project for Port Moody’s Transit Oriented Development (TOD) area was released last week, taking the form of two 39-storey rental towers.
On July 11, Vancouver’s PCI Developments officially submitted an application to amend the city’s official community plan and zoning (OCP) to permit the construction of 857 new rental units next to the Moody Centre SkyTrain station.
PCI President Tim Grant the project aligns with the city’s policies and priorities, and is the result of four years of collaborative work with the community, council, city staff, Translink, and other property owners.
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“We’re very proud to submit this proposal that ticks all of the boxes for the City of Port Moody,” Grant said.
The 125,000 square foot project would include a new pedestrian overpass connecting to Murray Street; 15,000 sq. ft. of ground retail, including street-level restaurants, patios and a 40,000 sq. ft. grocery store; 4,000 sq. ft. of low-cost art studio space; 605 parking spaces; outdoor public space and extensive building amenities, some available to community organizations and programming.
Forty three of the units (5 percent) would be offered at below-market rates, and 50 percent would be adaptable for accessibility features.
Grant said the project offers an opportunity to “build housing without displacement” as the area is currently only occupied by obsolete warehouse buildings and surface parking.
Moody Centre stands out in the region for its lack of new housing and development, according to a press release from PCI, adding it is one of the lowest utilized stations in the region’s rapid transit network.
The proposal’s building height is above the 26 to 36 storey range set out in the original TOD master plan; however, Grant said the developers have heard that the increased building height was suitable for rental housing and more open public realm improvements.
PCI’s press release also references the province’s recent move to set housing targets on Port Moody, and the city’s obligation under Metro Vancouver’s 2050 Regional Growth Strategy which calls for 500,000 new jobs and 500,000 new housing units.
“It is incumbent upon Port Moody to accept its share of both,” the press release stated.
Port Moody’s former council was sent a warning by the province in the summer of 2022 threatening to withhold rapid transit investments over the former council’s consideration of lower density of the TOD area.
“The Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy plans for nearly 30 percent of growth to happen around major transit hubs in the region, but Moody Centre remains unimproved,” said Grant. “Approving PCI’s project is an opportunity for Port Moody to show the rest of the region the city is ready to not just pull its weight, but to lead in meeting the goals of the Regional Growth Strategy, particularly in respect of housing and climate priorities.”
Port Moody’s TOD area – developed through a consortium of eight developers – has been in the works for six years and lays out a master plan to transform 23 acres of light industrial and commercial property next to Moody Centre.
The TOD plan calls for 4,100 homes to be built, 2,000 jobs, in more than a dozen towers.
This first project would nearly triple the TOD’s initial plan of 300 to 385 market rental apartments envisioned for the entire area, and cut in half the 70 to 90 below-market units originally called for.
PCI said the project will “set the stage for future housing and mixed-use projects” in the TOD area.