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Public hearing on Tuesday for condo project proposed at site of Port Moody’s old Barnet Hotel

The project is located at the corner of St. Johns and Albert streets where they meet the Barnet Highway. The property, that used to be the Barnet Hotel until it was demolished, is now mostly overgrown
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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.

Port Moody residents will get a chance to say whether a 222-unit condo project is worthy of one of the city’s most prominent corners.

A public hearing is being held Tuesday on a proposal by Langley-based Marcon Developments to build the six-storey mixed-use project at the corner of St. Johns and Albert streets, where they meet the Barnet Highway.

The property used to be the site of the old Barnet Hotel, but has been vacant and overgrown since it was demolished several years ago.

Marcon’s proposal has been slimmed down by 20 units since the company first presented it to council almost two years ago. Its commercial component has also been doubled to 1,414 sq. m., including office space on the second floor. A staff report in January anticipated 73 jobs could be created.

As well, the company redesigned the building so it no longer needed a variance it had originally requested to allow a portion of its parkade and some overhangs to infringe into the protected riparian zone flanking South Schoolhouse Creek that cuts across a corner of the property. The 13,000 sq. ft. area bordering the waterway will be dedicated to the city.

The project also includes 23 units to be rented at below-market rates and another 10 that will be part of a rent-to-own program. Local residents will be favoured as buyers.

When council gave second reading in January to the amendments of city zoning bylaws that will allow the project to proceed, several councillors praised its progression from Marcon’s initial proposal.

“They’ve provided exactly what we’ve asked for,” said Coun. Meghan Lahti.

But others worried about potential impacts on traffic congestion at the busy intersection that is also the main entry point to nearby Port Moody Secondary School.

“I have a feeling the community is really going to be up in arms about hitting that intersection with more traffic,” said Coun. Steve Milani.

A notable feature of the proposed project is a public art installation by Vancouver-based artist Alex Morrison on the building’s northern facade that is budgeted to cost about $200,000 that Coun. Diana Dilworth praised as a “significant and welcome contribution to the gateway of our community.”