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20-storey rental tower for seniors in the works for Coquitlam's Austin Avenue

PARC Communities is planning to raze a professional office building for a 20-storey tower across the road from the John B Pub.

A high-rise geared for independent seniors aged 55 and up is set to be built in Austin Heights.

PARC Communities is planning to raze a two-storey Coquitlam office building — currently home to DBM Law and medical services tenants — for a 20-storey tower at 1015 Austin Ave., across the road from the John B Pub.

At its July 11 meeting, city council unanimously gave first reading to the rezoning bid to move the application to a public hearing (Coun. Steve Kim was not present for the vote).

The hearing takes place at city hall on Monday (July 25) at 7 p.m.

According to a report from Andrew Merrill, Coquitlam’s director of development services, the proposed building would have 155 market rental units for independent seniors, 12 below-market suites and three shops.

Of the market rentals, there would be:

  • one studio unit
  • 111 one-bedroom units
  • 43 two-bedroom units

And of the 12 below-market rentals, the plans call for 11 to be one-bedroom units and one as a two-bedroom unit.

If approved following the public hearing, the tower would be built to silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, on a 25,000 sq-ft. site north of Austin Avenue and south of Ridgeway Avenue, east of where Pizza Hut of is currently located.

Among the amenities proposed for the future residents are a dining room; lounge areas; multipurpose rooms; a gym; rooms for arts and crafts, games and wellness; a greenhouse; garden plots; and an outdoors games area.

And 22 trees will be planted to replace three onsite trees being chopped, according to Merrill’s report to council.

The proposed development would also bring the city the following:

  • $3.5 million in density bonus
  • $2 million in development cost charges
  • $170,000 in community amenity contributions

Coun. Craig Hodge suggested, as the Austin Heights corridor gets redeveloped, the city launch an incentive program to keep doctors' offices and medical services in the neighbourhood.

PARC has a number of retirement residences in Metro Vancouver: Oceana in White Rock, Westerleigh in West Vancouver, Cedar Springs and Summerhill in North Vancouver and Mulberry in Burnaby.

Besides the Coquitlam proposal, PARC also has two buildings in the works for Kelowna and Victoria.