City Of Port Coquitlam Kicks Off Downtown Revitalization
PORT COQUITLAM, BC – Oct. 24, 2019… The vision for a revitalized downtown Port Coquitlam is beginning to unfold, with a proposal to bring new pedestrian amenities, businesses and residential units to the heart of the area.
Port Coquitlam has received a development permit application to redevelop a city-owned parking lot and the site of a former commercial building at 2241-2251 McAllister Ave. with a five-storey building featuring street-level commercial space, about 60 apartments and underground parking.
Along the site’s western border would be a plaza and extension of Donald Pathway, eventually envisioned to wind through the downtown from Wilson Avenue to Elgin Avenue. The project sets in motion the city’s plans for a vibrant pedestrian-friendly commercial and residential zone that retains the downtown’s charm and heritage.
“We’ve already started to build the energy of our downtown with the development of our new Community Centre but it has the potential to be an even more welcoming and lively destination for people to live, work, get together and have fun,” Mayor Brad West said. “McAllister Avenue is in the heart of our downtown and the perfect place to kick off the revitalization. We expect this to be a catalyst for more to come and give a whole new life to downtown Port Coquitlam.”
Project proponent Quarry Rock has signed an agreement with the city to purchase its parking lot on McAllister at fair market value. The developer already owns the adjacent former commercial site, formerly home to Martha’s Bakery.
The combined site is 3,000 square metres (33,000 square feet) in size and located next to the bowling alley. The agreement stipulates that once the building is constructed, a portion of the street-level commercial space will be transferred to the city. The commercial space may accommodate uses such as restaurants, personal services, indoor recreation or offices. The four storeys above will have 60 to 65 market strata apartments with private balconies and access to amenity spaces and underground parking. Units will have one to three bedrooms to meet Council’s housing and family-friendly objectives.
“With this project we wanted ownership of some of the commercial space to give the community a say in what will be located there.” Coun. Dean Washington, Council’s designate for downtown matters. “We’ll be looking for businesses that promote a vibrant downtown – such as a restaurant with an outdoor patio near the pedestrian plaza.”
The project is designed to meet the site’s current Community Commercial zoning and Official Community Plan (OCP) designation of Downtown Commercial, along with OCP policies to create a vibrant downtown reflecting the area’s heritage.
It also aligns with recommendations from a consultant in 2017 to develop the area’s potential, and the concept plan adopted in October 2018 for planning purposes. The plan envisions redevelopment of selected under-utilized properties to make way for tree-lined streets and paths, apartment-style housing and a mix of existing and new shops, businesses and restaurants. The city has hired a Land and Development Facilitator to help encourage and guide the redevelopments.
Information is being shared with the Downtown Port Coquitlam Business Improvement Association as plans are finalized. The development permit process and other regulatory approvals taking place over the coming months will allow for public comment on the project.
During the approval process, the city will be exploring alternative options for replacing the 45 parking spaces in the lot that will form part of the development. A number of other parking areas exist within walking distance, including lots located on either side of Wilson Avenue, on the south side of Kingsway Avenue east of Shaughnessy Street, and on the north side of Elgin Avenue west of Shaughnessy Street.
Once approved, a project of this size typically takes two years to construct.
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Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533