A dealership by Hard Rock?
Win the slots, buy a car?
A bid to have a car dealership a block away from Hard Rock Casino Vancouver will go to public hearing this month, nearly a year after Kia West made its pitch to Coquitlam city council to move its business to United Boulevard.
Last June, Kia West told council it was outgrowing its space on Lougheed Highway in Maillardville and wanted the land near the gambling venue that used to be leased by Surfwood Supply.
On Monday, city council unanimously granted first reading to its application.
Jim McIntyre, Coquitlam’s general manager of planning and development, said the Kia West proposal has taken so long as the city is updating its industrial zoning rules.
The Pacific Reach Business Park doesn’t allow for car dealerships in the M8 zone but city staff are willing to make an exception to bring more retail to the corridor, he said (over the past few years, United Boulevard businesses have suffered with construction of the King Edward Street overpass and the Port Mann/Highway 1 project).
McIntyre said under the industrial zone changes, the proposed Kia West site would fall under a new classification, the B1 Business zone, that would incorporate the M8 and allow for some office use.
Still, auto sales in the new industrial zone would only be permitted at the United Boulevard location.
Kia West said it plans to renovate the existing building for a car dealership and accessory services as well as move the Kia Canada head office to the lot (its head office is now in the business park on Hartley Avenue).
McIntyre also told council that, should the bid be approved, Kia West has indicated it would landscape the property, which has become overgrown since Surfwood left for Surrey two years ago.
The public hearing is scheduled for March 31 at Coquitlam city hall.