This week, the City of Port Moody granted final approval to the Westport Village project, which is a celebratory milestone for most development projects, but especially so when it's a project that has been in the pipeline for nearly two decades.

Westport Village -- by Andrew Peller Limited, the owner of a portfolio of wine brands across Canada -- will be located along the Barnet Highway in Port Moody, on 2120 Vintner Street and 2110-2136 Clarke Street, on the southern edge of the city near Burquitlam.

The site was formerly home to Andres Wines, a wine-processing facility owned by Andrew Peller Limited since 1961, when the company's namesake moved to Port Moody to start a winery, eventually growing it to a $4.8M business and one of the largest wine-makers in the country in just about a decade.

The facility was shut down in 2005, however, after the company opted to move operations to a larger facility in Kelowna. Since it's closure, John Peller, Andrew Peller's grandson, has been working towards establishing a future for the Andres Wine facility that would "continue the legacy."

According to the City, the 3.53-acre site is currently "a parking and staging area for light industrial uses."

The subject site for the Westport Village project.(City of Port Moody)

After many rounds of engagement with local residents, a rezoning application was officially submitted to the City in 2016, seeking to rezone the site from Industrial zoning to Comprehensive Development, allowing for the development a high-density mixed-use project.

The project was granted a third reading in 2019, tantamount to conditional approval, but was then nearly derailed last summer after three years had passed without progress and Council denied the developer an extension. (The City of Port Moody is also currently in the process of updating its development approval process, with one potential change clarifying the process regarding extensions.)

A few weeks later, however, after some back-and-forth and involvement from the City's lawyers, the extension was granted, and the fourth and final reading was granted this week on July 25.

With final approval, construction on Westport Village will now unfold in two major phases, with the possibility of Phase Two beginning before Phase One is complete, according to the City.

Phase One, which will be located on the southern half of the site along Clarke Street, will include a 31-storey residential tower with 263 strata condominiums and 16 market rental units. It will also include a four-storey "artist village" complex that includes 10 three-storey live-work townhouses for artists, with each unit consisting of two floors of residential use above a studio space on the ground floor that's accessible to the public. Six of the 10 units will be provided to artists at 20% below-market rates for the life of the building.

(Chris Dikeakos Architects / Andrew Peller Ltd.)

(Chris Dikeakos Architects / Andrew Peller Ltd.)

Furthermore, the first phase will also include a four-storey arts centre facility with a mix of uses. The first floor of the building will consist of about 5,400 sq. ft of commercial retail space, the second will house a 350-seat flexible theatre, the third floor will house 3,000 sq. ft of office space, and the fourth floor will house just over 4,000 sq. ft of childcare space.

A total of 490 vehicle parking stalls and 492 bicycle spaces will be provided.

(Chris Dikeakos Architects / Andrew Peller Ltd.)

(Chris Dikeakos Architects / Andrew Peller Ltd.)

Phase Two will then see the construction of a 21-storey mixed-use tower, with rental housing, office space, an athletic club, and a grocery store; a 12-storey mixed-use building with seniors housing, senior-care facilities, light industrial space, and ground-floor retail; and a six-storey mixed-used building with medical clinic space, ground-level retail, and over 41,000 sq. ft of hotel space.

Exact configurations for the Phase Two components will not be finalized until the developer submits an individual development permit application, "the timing of which is uncertain at this time," according to the City.

In total, the Westport Village project is expected to bring 500 residential units and create 585 jobs.

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As part of the development agreement conditions, Andrew Peller Limited will also rehabilitate a portion of the nearby South Schoolhouse Creek they own and transfer ownership of it to the City, as well as relocate the Trans-Canada Trail from the west side of Douglas Street adjacent to the east side of the parcel to avoid traffic.

There were also previous discussions of the developer potentially establishing a shuttle bus service between Westport Village and Moody Centre Station -- the closest SkyTrain station -- but both parties have concluded that it would be difficult to establish and could eventually fall on the strata corporations to operate, which could become onerous.

In light of that, the developer has agreed to provide a cash-in-lieu payment of $1.12M. The developer has also committed to a public art plan with a value of approximately $500,000. In terms of community amenity contributions, Phase One CACs will total to $1,352,034, but the City says the developer will likely be credited $455,600 as a result of the aforementioned conditions. Phase Two CACs will not be finalized until the development application is submitted, but the preliminary estimate is $1,168,620.

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