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Coquitlam presses for more affordable housing in new City Centre proposal

Ledingham McAllister revealed its plans to transform Coquitlam's River's Inlet into a 25-storey tower with 1,113 units.

Tenants at Coquitlam's River's Inlet were told last month that they'll have to look for new homes to make way for a property redevelopment.

On Monday (April 3), Ledingham McAllister revealed its plans to turn the eight-acre site — located at 1145 Inlet St. — from 113 townhouses and duplexes to 1,113 units in a 25-storey tower, plus eight mid-rise buildings nearby.

The sneak peek of its master development plan came before the city’s council-in-committee meeting; councillors Steve Kim and Dennis Marsden did not attend the presentation by LedMac official Dan Giordano.

According to a city report, the company wants to change the zoning and Official Community Plan to construct nine buildings over eight phases:

  • Phase 1
    • One 25-storey strata tower with 325 units, one six-storey market rental building with 135 units, a childcare centre with 57 spaces and common amenity areas
  • Phases 2 to 8
    • Seven six- and seven-storey strata buildings with 653 units and a 79,000-sq. ft. clubhouse

The property is owned by Rivers Inlet Enterprises Inc., which has rented its 113 townhouses and duplexes since they were built in 1982.

Giordano told the committee that Stratford Wynd will be the company's 12th active development project in the city because "we believe in Coquitlam," he said, and it will be constructed to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) "silver-equivalent."

Giordano said the current River's Inlet tenants will receive financial aid, be accommodated during the construction and will have first-right-of-refusal for rental market suites at Stratford Wynd or in other LedMac's buildings.

Currently, the tenants pay between $1,400 and $1,900 a month, said Coun. Matt Djonlic.

"This is some of Coquitlam's desperately needed affordable housing stock and, right now in the proposal, there's nothing in terms of below-market housing," he said.

"That is a net loss of 133 units this community desperate needs.... We know that these [Stratford Wynd units] are going to be renting at, frankly, an astronomically higher price that what is currently there."

Coun. Robert Mazzarolo also pointed out that, under the proposed configuration for Stratford Wynd units, the city will lose many three-bedroom homes for families.

Like Djonlic, as well as councillors Teri Towner and Craig Hodge, he pressed LedMac to work with city staff and government agencies to add non- and below-market housing.

Still, Mayor Richard Stewart and Coun. Brent Asmundson said the site is privately owned and Rivers Inlet Enterprises Inc. could have sold the property at any time over the past 40 years rather than provide affordable housing for families.

If approved, LedMac will also build a childcare centre for 57 kids and extend Kensal Place to Inlet Street.

Stratford Wynd will bring in about $25 million to the city coffers in development cost charges and community amenity contributions.

LedMac plans more public consultation before its master-planned community project officially returns for council consideration for first reading.