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More rental apartments could be coming to Port Moody

Another rental project is being proposed for Port Moody. It's the latest of several after a dearth of more than 30 years for new purpose-built rental apartments in the city.
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A rendering of a proposed 112-unit mixed-use rental building on St. Johns Street.

More rental apartments could be headed to Port Moody.

On Tuesday (July 6), councillors will get an early look at a proposal for a 112-unit mixed-use rental building at 2524-2528 St. Johns St.

The sites are currently occupied by an A&W drive-thru restaurant and the old Rocky Point Taphouse that’s been closed for several years.

In a report to council, Port Moody’s senior planner Wesley Woo says the eight-storey structure would be comprised of 79 one-bedroom apartments, 33 would have two bedrooms and a total of 17 would be made available at below-market rates.

The building’s ground floor would be designed to accommodate two drive-thru businesses, one of them likely a bank.

But, Woo points out in his report that while existing drive-thru restaurants are permitted as legal, non-conforming uses, new drive-thru businesses are no longer allowed by Port Moody’s zoning regulations. The A&W’s ability to continue to operate would not transfer to the new development.

The project’s proponent, Mara + Natha Architecture, said drive-thru businesses will become an increasing reality in a post-pandemic world as people think more about social distancing and their own personal protection.

Woo added the need for three entry and exit points around the site to accommodate the drive-thru businesses as well as access to an underground parkade for residents would have an impact on the walkability of the surrounding neighbourhood.

Councillors will be able to give the developer feedback on its proposal for consideration before it’s presented formally for first reading of rezoning and amendments to the city’s official community plan that only allows for a six-storey building to occupy the site.

After a 30-year dearth of new rental units getting built in the city, Port Moody has suddenly attracted several such proposals. The Moody’s 142 apartments are nearing completion further east on St. Johns Street while PC Urban is constructing another 229 units in a new complex on Dewdney Trunk Road. The company is also pitching a second phase to include 133 additional apartments.

Vancouver-based developer Mosaic Homes is also proposing 50 rental apartments in a 215-unit mixed-use complex it wants to build on Murray Street and a massive redevelopment plan for Port Moody’s Woodland Park neighbourhood includes 325 affordable rental units.