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Developer hoping less becomes more for proposed Port Moody condo project at the old Barnet Hotel site

The project now features 222 units — 20 fewer than originally proposed — but more of them are considered family-friendly.
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A rendering of a 222-unit condo project being proposed by Marcon for the old Barnet Hotel site in Port Moody.

A condo complex proposed for St. Johns Street on the site of the old Barnet Hotel now has fewer units than the last time Port Moody city council looked at the project.

But almost half of them will now have two or more bedrooms to accommodate families.

The 222-unit project by Langley-based Marcon comprised of two six-storey buildings is back before council on Tuesday (Jan. 25) for second reading of zoning bylaw amendments that would allow it to proceed to a public hearing.

In response to suggestions from council last September, the developer lopped 20 units from its original proposal and increased the number of them with two bedrooms from 78 to 91, and the number of three-bedroom units from four to nine. The remaining 122 units are studios or one-bedroom.

As well, the developer is committing 23 units to be rented at below-market rates and another 10 to a rent-to-own program.

While the 33 affordable units are three fewer than previously proposed, a staff report said the proportion of the project’s affordable housing component has actually increased given the fewer number of spaces overall.

Other changes include:

  • an increase of commercial space from 680 to 1,414 sq. m., which staff estimates will generate about 73 jobs
  • an opportunity for local residents to get first dibs on sales
  • the elimination of a 70 sq-m. encroachment by the structure’s parkade and roof eaves into the riparian area of South Schoolhouse Creek that runs through the property

However, one element that hasn’t changed since the project was first considered by council for early input last June is the installation of a public art component worth $200,000 on the building’s facade that Port Moody’s senior development planner, Kevin Jones, said will present a more stylish face along St. Johns Street than a standalone work, or the current overgrown state of the property.

As well, the company is offering to dedicate more than 13,000 sq. ft. of the restored riparian setback to the city as a park.

In a letter, Marcon’s vice president of development, Nic Paolella, said the company hopes the revisions satisfy council and staff’s objectives "for this important site in Port Moody."

According to the staff report, the project is expected to generate almost $1.1 million in community amenity contributions, including more than $364,000 to the city’s affordable housing reserve fund.