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More towers for Burquitlam
Two major developers will soon have proposals before Coquitlam city council to add to the massive growth now happening in a neighbourhood with a future Evergreen Line station.
Last week, more than 80 people were at an open house in Burquitlam hosted by Beedie Living, which plans to rezone its property west of the Como Lake Avenue and Clarke Road intersection for a 26-storey residential tower that would link in with the YWCA Como Lake Gardens facility.
Houtan Rafii, Beedie's vice president of residential development, told The Tri-City News the feedback was positive about its bid to build 180 homes plus seven townhouses and an amenity space for the YWCA to expand its affordable housing services to single mothers and their kids.
"It's just great for us to increase our housing stock in Coquitlam because there's always a wait list," said Chantelle Krish, manager of advocacy and public relations for the YWCA Metro Vancouver, noting the new residents would be able to get legal, childcare and job support.
Beedie's proposal, which has been formally submitted to city staff, would also include a multi-level parkade as well as a vehicle roundabout, close to the Evergreen station. Rafii said Beedie's bid fits in with the city's transit-oriented development and affordable housing strategies.
Still, Burquitlam Community Association president Don Violette said if the plan is okayed, it would squeeze out surrounding businesses like the Burquitlam Animal Hospital, which has been in the same location for 50 years. As well, Violette fears property taxes would skyrocket.
"They are putting that business between a rock and a hard place," he told The News Thursday.
Beedie Living wasn't available to comment further by press time but Jim McIntyre, Coquitlam's general manger of planning and development, said retailers "won't be negatively affected. There will be changes to the back lane but the existing businesses will continue to have access."
Still, it's not the only significant development on the horizon for the gentrifying Burquitlam.
BlueSky Properties, a division of Bosa, spoke with city council last month about its preliminary plans to build 788 units in three high rises, 11 townhouses and a four-storey market-rental building — with 46 new units — on two lots at 655 North Rd. and 525 Foster Ave.
BlueSky declined to speak about its plans however, according to city papers, the development would replace 112 market-rental apartments. McIntyre said it will be up to BlueSky to provide an assessment survey to outline how the current tenants would be relocated on- or off-site.
In 2011, city council put BlueSky's proposal on hold — which at the time called for 410 new homes in one or two towers plus surrounding multi-family homes — to update the Burquitlam/Lougheed Neighbourhood Plan. City staff are expected to launch that update this year.
The Evergreen rapid transit, from Lougheed to Coquitlam town centres, will open in two years.