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Coquitlam OK's proposed high rise, affordable seniors complex for Burquitlam

The Burquitlam Lions Care Centre will soon be razed for a high-rise.
burquitlam lions centre
The city-owned property at 560 Sydney Ave. in Coquitlam currently has the vacant Burquitlam Lions Care Centre; it's been empty since 2016.

The Burquitlam Lions Care Centre will soon be razed for a high-rise.

Last month, following a public hearing, city council OK’d second and third bylaw readings to rezone 560 Sydney Ave., where the vacant facility currently stands.

The bid by the city’s lands and real estate division, which has yet to receive fourth and final bylaw readings, calls for clearing the site to sell it to a developer to construct a tower, with about 289 market condos and about 22 childcare spaces.

Under the division’s plans, the high-rise’s rental component — totalling 59,000 sq. ft. — will move to a new seniors complex next door, at 594–602 Sydney Ave., of which its market component will swap with 560 Sydney Ave.

Meanwhile, the proposed seniors facility, which also got unanimous second and third bylaw readings at the Feb. 28 city council meeting after the public hearing (Coun. Teri Towner was absent), will be run by a non-profit provider with the municipality retaining land ownership, said Kerry Thompson, a city development planner.

The city’s community planning division is now preparing a Request for Proposals to find a suitable seniors housing provider, city council heard.

At the public hearing, David Perkins, a Coquitlam resident who represents LJ Christmas Manor, a non-profit apartment high-rise for seniors that’s located directly north of the Burquitlam Lions Care Centre, asked council for more seniors suites than the 89 units that are proposed for the new medium-density block.

But Thompson said the city’s aware of the construction costs for the six-storey wood-framed structure, especially as it builds underground parking at 594–602 Sydney Ave.

Still, Coun. Dennis Marsden said many seniors won’t need a vehicle and cited the proximity to public transit in the Burquitlam/Lougheed neighbourhood. As a result, he suggested a higher density for the affordable seniors complex.

In 2016, the property with the vacant Burquitlam Lions Care Centre returned to the municipality after Fraser Health pulled its funding for the complex.

If approved by council, the high-rise development at 560 Sydney Ave. would bring in about $3.4 million in development cost charges (DCC) for the city, while the seniors development at 594–602 Sydney Ave. would yield about $1 million in DCC.