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Councillors hope new Port Moody condo project will enliven Murray Street

A new mixed-use condo complex on Murray Street has been approved by Port Moody council.
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A rendering of Mosaic's proposed mixed-use development as seen from Electronic Avenue.

A new mixed-use condo project in Port Moody will help bring light and life to an otherwise dark part of Murray Street.

On Tuesday (Sept. 21), council passed third reading of zoning bylaw amendments to allow the 215-unit development across from Inlet Park to proceed. 

But councillors want Vancouver-based developer Mosaic Homes to continue working with staff to find ways to boost the number of adaptable units to at least 50 per cent of the total.

Coun. Diana Dilworth said the project, which includes 55 rental apartments along with 13,000 sq. ft. of light industrial space and 15,507 sq. ft. of commercial space, represents “an evolution of Murray Street,” set to improve its walkability and animate the stretch between the Klahanie neighbourhood and new housing complexes just to the east, and Brewers Row and Rocky Point Park to the west.

Dilworth also praised the developer’s plan to designate 32 of the residential units as Type B housing that allows owners to operate an approved business in their dwelling that could employ up to two additional people. 

She called it an “innovative approach to working in post-pandemic environments.”

But Coun. Hunter Madsen said the possibility of up to 96 additional jobs being created at the complex, along with those that would come with the low-impact manufacturing, creative, food manufacturing and wholesaling businesses expected to occupy the commercial and light-industrial units still doesn’t go far enough to address Port Moody’s employment needs.

“This is a neighbourhood that has long been designated one of the city’s key job zones,” Madsen said, adding the developer’s commitment to rent 16 of the rental apartments at below-market rates is also inadequate.

Coun. Meghan Lahti, however, lauded Mosaic’s efforts to improve on its initial proposal that included only five below-market rental apartments and fewer employment spaces.

“There are some issues with it, but it is the right thing to do to go ahead with it at this point,” she said, adding the project could become a vibrant home for artists, microbreweries and crafts people.

At a public hearing that preceded Tuesday’s meeting, councillors heard several comments supporting the project.

“It’s kind of a dark spot in Port Moody and a project like this will bring light to the area,” said one resident.

“This kind of development would give a much needed boost to businesses on Murray Street,” said another.

Adrian Herbert, Mosaic’s vice-president of land and development, told council the project had evolved considerably based upon recommendations councillors gave last April, including a redesign of the parkade and podium to create taller spaces to allow commercial and industrial tenants to integrate an office loft space, as well as adding skylights to allow more light into 20 one bedroom plus den units on the top floor.

“We’re really proud of where this project has ended up,” he said. “We’re fully confident this will be a great addition to Murray Street.”

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