A new affordable rental housing complex is set to rise in Port Coquitlam.
The 300-unit development with a childcare facility got city council’s stamp of approval on its development permit and watercourse development permit on Sept. 20.
It’s the largest non-market rental development to be approved in Port Coquitlam in decades, said Mayor Brad West.
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“It’s going to be a beautiful place to call home,” he said.
Located near the Coquitlam River, the non-market development is slated for a 2.4-acre parcel that will comprise of 2455-2475 Gately Avenue and 2428-2492 Kingsway Avenue, as well as 2420 and 2450 Ticehurst Lane.
Three six-storey towers are slated to comprise units ranging from 473 to 860 square feet, including either a private balcony or patio. The breakdown of units is:
- 129 one-bedroom units;
- 123 two-bedroom units;
- five two-bedroom plus den units;
- 43 three-bedroom units
This includes 58 adaptable units, 30 accessible units and two universal units.
The development also includes an approximately 4,550-square foot childcare facility.
Amenities at the development consist of a kids play area, raised garden beds with a shed, a BBQ area with tables and seating, an outdoor patio, a lounge room, meeting or study rooms, secure storage for 300 bikes, a bike wash and repair station, a car wash bay and a pet washing station.
The location of the development was once part of Port Coquitlam’s historic townsite. To recognize the history of the site, the development will be named Westminster Junction and each of the three buildings will also have historic names—The Myrtle, The Rowland and the Ticehurst. The applicants worked with the Port Coquitlam Heritage and Cultural Society to craft commemorative plaques for the buildings.
Coun. Nancy McCurrach was pleased with the historical element of the development.
“Who would have known this was really the centre of downtown PoCo many, many years ago?” she said.
The development is set to be steps from the downtown area, which is undergoing revitalization, as well as Lions Park.
Coun. Darrell Penner said he was “extremely excited” to see the project. Municipalities sometimes struggle with how to get non-market housing in their cities without taxpayers funding the development.
“Everyone wants to see it, but who wants to pay for it,” he said. “I think it’s a real model for other communities to take note of.”
The development is a partnership between Peak Towers Development and the Affordable Housing Societies (AHS).
AHS currently manages two properties in Port Coquitlam including Vincent Place and River Woods.
“I think it’s awesome, much-needed housing,” said Coun. Glenn Pollock, who put forward the motion to approve the permits. “I’ve been excited about this project since day one.”
The non-riparian area of the landscape plan calls for 44 trees, 919 shrubs, 365 perennials, 292 grasses and 633 ground cover plants.
The development also includes an area next to the Coquitlam River, which is designated as a watercourse protection and riparian area. The development is removing two existing houses and accessory buildings as well as pavement from the area. A condition of the development is that the area will get riparian enhancements and a restrictive covenant means it can only have vegetation, not buildings.
The developers are also building a segment of the Coquitlam River Trail, which will be overseen by the city after it’s complete.
A fence between the development and the riparian area will help keep it protected from foot traffic. The riparian planting schedule proposes saving 13 trees west of Ticehurst Lane, converting Ticehurst Lane into a “permeable river trail”, repurposing cut trees for ground-level habitat, planting 30 new trees (bitter cherry, red alder, and douglas fir), 327 shrubs, 104 perennials and 560 ground cover plants.
Coun. Steve Darling asked who would monitor the river protection and for how long. City planner Bryan Sherrell told him there would be a five-year monitoring period after construction and the developer’s environmental consultant would prepare a report about how the planted vegetation was faring.
“Once the plants are there, it should naturalize,” said Sherrell.
The project’s watercourse and development permits were passed unanimously.