Coming off its recent announcement of new legislation to faciliate transit-oriented development across British Columbia, the provincial government announced on Monday that it is ready to move forward with a previously planned project in Port Moody.
The new transit-oriented development will be located near the Millennium Line SkyTrain's Moody Centre Station and is currently in the pre-design stage. The Province says design work is expected to take at least one year and that it is in the process of completing further engagement with the community and local First Nations.
In its announcement on Monday, the Province did not provide any details about what their project will look like, other than that it entails the redevelopment of a two-acre parcel of land it owns into "hundreds of rental units, child care spaces, health-care services, educational opportunities, and retail space."
A master plan rezoning application submitted to the City of Port Moody in 2020, however, indicates that the Province's plan at the time was for a 36-storey strata building with 10% of the units as affordable housing units.
The plans have likely changed though, as the Province noted in Monday's announcement that they have acquired a small parcel of land next to its existing holdings and increased the scope of their proposal. They said the acquisition was made possible after the Province amended the Transportation Act in 2022 to allow the Ministry of Transporation and Infrastructure to purchase land near transit stations for the purpose of transit-oriented development.
It's unclear how much the acquisition cost, but the Province says the funding for the purchase came from the $394M that was allocated towards transit-oriented development in the Province's 2023-2024 budget that was presented earlier this year.
The Moody Centre TOD site and respective owners.(Moody Centre TOD Master Planning Group)
The Province's project is one of several in the area — a long stretch of land between St. Johns Street and the CPR/Evergreen Line rail corridor, between Moody Street and Electronic Avenue — that's being undertaken by a group of organizations and developers collectively referred to as the Moody Centre Transit Oriented Development Master Planning Group.
The group submitted a single master plan rezoning application in July 2020, which will then be guided by individual development applications.
Members of the group, in alphabetical order, include: Anthem Properties, Beedie Living, the British Columbia Transportation Financing Authority, the Bombelli family, PCI Developments, the Stevens family, TransLink, the Wildman family, and Woodbridge Homes.
Design and planning work is being taken care of by Perkins & Will (architecture and urban design), Bunt and Associates (transporation), Butler Sundvick (legal survey), Diamond Head Consulting (arborist), Pottinger Bird (community engagement), R.F. Binnie (civil engineering), and Keystone Environmental (environment).
According to the City of Port Moody, the entire master plan, as proposed, will consist of between 3,200 and 4,135 homes — strata condominiums, market rental homes, and below-market rental units. It will also potentially add 1,400 employment opportunities through office and light industrial uses and another 600 employment opportunities through retail uses.
In its master plan application, the Moody Centre TOD Master Planning Group said that after analyzing the 400-m radius around Moody Centre Station, it found that 42 of the 125 acres are undevelopable land, "due to it being a rail corridor, zoned single-family housing, the Burrard Inlet, Rocky Point Park, or with a current density measured at two people per acre." They added that another 30% of the acreage is public amenity space, resulting in the master plan site for this project being one of "the last remaining locations for smart growth, achieving regional, sustainable, and associated transit targets."
"Building neighbourhoods next to transit makes sense," said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming on Monday. "That's why we are focused on creating more communities where people can go to work, school and access the services they need all close to transit. This is the first of many such projects across the province we will be supporting as part of our transit-oriented development initiative."
After announcing the broad outlines of the new transit-oriented development legislation earlier this month, the Province said it will release further policy details regarding the legislation in December.
Moody Centre TOD Master Planning Group
Moody Centre TOD Master Planning Group
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