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New seniors housing being pitched near Port Moody’s Kyle Centre

Proponent promises residents a lifestyle "at or exceed many five-star hotels."
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A lounge at The Vista retirement residence in Esquimalt. The company that is behind that project, Avenir Senior Living, is proposing a similar 188-unit building in Port Moody.

Just weeks after Port Moody council approved an effort to solicit expressions of interest from private developers to construct a new Kyle Centre along with seniors housing in conjunction with new market housing, a Vancouver Island company is pitching a 188-unit senior complex nearby.

Tonight (April 19) council will get its first look at a pre-development application by Avenir Senior Housing that would be comprised of a 14-storey tower atop a five- or six-storey podium at the corner of Mary and St. George streets.

The company is nearing completion of a similar nine-storey project in Esquimalt and it also operates the Astoria Retirement Residence in Port Coquitlam, as well as the Pacifica in White Rock.

The Port Moody facility would feature

  • 100 full-service independent and assisted living units
  • 42 units for residents requiring complex care
  • 46 privately owned condos on the upper five floors 

An indoor/outdoor amenity space would be located on the fifth floor.

In a letter to council, Avenir principal Jason Craik said the facility would allow residents “to transition from their current residence to a retirement community that can provide for all their needs now and into the future, without the prospect of an additional move.”

He added the lifestyle being offered would “be at or exceed many five-star hotels.”

However, Port Moody senior planner Kevin Jones cautions in a report that the proposed mix of units may not meet the needs of seniors with low or moderate income levels.

“Further consideration will be needed in relation to the affordability and the potential provision of the affordable unit programming,” Jones said in his report, adding the project has the potential to create about 80 full- and part-time jobs.

It’s also a “significant departure” from the heights and density currently permitted in the neighbourhood which is zoned for single detached and medium density townhouse residential use that allows up to three storeys.

As well, the project would require an amendment to the city’s official community plan.

Jones said the project’s size could have an impact on the surrounding neighbourhood that would “have to be carefully considered.”

Some of those considerations include how the tower’s shadow would fall on nearby homes and a three-storey apartment building immediately to the south, as well as Kyle Park to the west.

Avenir’s partner in the proposed project is local developer Dulex Laidler Group.

Two years ago Bill Laidler pitched the possibility of constructing a new Kyle Centre in exchange for council’s consideration of a residential project much denser than a six-storey rental building he was proposing to build right across from the aging facility that was built in 1973.

A 2020 engineering report said the community centre, which hosts seniors activities, arts and recreation programs and was used as an extreme weather shelter for the homeless last winter, requires more than $2.5 million in repairs.