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A new Ismaili cultural centre is part of a residential project being proposed for Port Moody

The Jamatkhana would be a replacement for a previous one further west on St. Johns Street that had to close.
A rendering of a new 12-storey rental tower and Ismaili cultural centre being proposed by Anthem Properties for the northwest corner of St. Johns and Moray streets in Port Moody.

The Ismaili Muslim community in the Tri-Cities could be getting a new cultural gathering place in Port Moody.

A 45,818-sq. ft. Jamatkhana is part of a redevelopment proposal by Vancouver-based Anthem Properties for the northwestern corner of St. Johns and Moray streets.

Attached to the two-storey Ismaili cultural centre will be a 12-storey residential tower with 128 rental units — 64 of them below-market.

The tower will sit atop a six-storey parking garage, four of which have to be built above ground because of the site’s steep slope.

Currently, the property is occupied by a two-storey commercial building that includes offices spaces and a restaurant, as well as a multi-unit light industrial building with several auto service and repair shops.

In its proposal Anthem’s tower will comprise:

  • 21 studio apartments
  • 64 with one bedroom
  • 33 two-bedroom units
  • 10 three-bedroom apartments

At least half the units will be adaptable.

The Jamatkhana will feature a landscaped courtyard on its roof, as well as Mashrabiya screens on its south, north and east walls.

A Mashrabiya screen is a characteristic of Islamic architecture that is a latticework covering of windows meant to catch the wind and provide passive cooling.

There are about 20,000 Ismaili Muslims in British Columbia.

The new Jamatkhana would replace a former cultural space further west along St. Johns Street at James Road that had to be closed because of structural problems.

The project will require rezoning and an amendment to the city’s official community plan to proceed.