Last night at the Community Planning Advisory Committee we reviewed an application from developer Woodbridge Homes for a 142 unit rental apartment building on St Johns Street. The site is the real estate (former Westminster CU office) office east of the Dairy Queen at Moray Street.
The site measures 36,000 square feet, and has a zero clearance from the building to the east. It is adjacent to Moray Place, a Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation site and very near Moody Middle and likely soon to be new Moody Elementary School. It is very close to both the Moody Centre and Inlet Centre skytrain stations. The site is currently zoned CD 55 , comprehensive development zone specific to this property, The site is designated Mixed Use-Moody Centre in the OCP and would need to be amended as there is no commercial use intended in this development.
I have seen many iterations of this project as it moved along and believe the site is not suited to commercial and it would not do well here. It is unfortunate the Dairy Queen wasn't part of the development because that would change the parking garage, street access and make commercial more viable .
The proposal is 142 units of which 72 would be 2 bed + den, 59 1 bed + den, 5 3 bed and 6 studios - a range of sizes and character to ensure families are accommodated here but also couples and singles. The 2 + den are quite large units.
The building is quite imposing and would be a significant change to the neighbourhood, but the 6 storeys is consistent with the OCP and the neighbourhood plan.
I know that Woodbridge has really struggled to make this work as a rental building and they are two years into the planning with the City staff - comments made at the CPAC meeting about negotiating with the developer at this point are unfounded. All that can be done has been done and there is concern this can even be done as proposed - adding any more conditions, such as a developer funded bus pass, will add to the cost and complexity and likely just be added onto the rents as the project struggles to be financially secure.
I like it - its a nice design , it's in a good spot , it's near transit, schools,shopping , etc. You could easily live a car free lifestyle if you were renting here.
A chance to bring the first purpose built rental to Port Moody in over 4 decades... let's hope it moves ahead without any barriers , especially around PARKING.