First new Port Moody rental building in more than 30 years closer to reality

A rendering of a new 142-unit rental building being proposed by Woodbridge Properties for a site on St. Johns Street in Port Moody | Photo: Contributed

The first new rental building in Port Moody in more than 30 years is a step closer to getting built.

The project, to be constructed by developer Woodbridge Properties on St. Johns Street just west of Moray, would comprise 142 units in a six-storey building; five of those would be three-bedroom apartments, 72 would be two-bedroom-plus-den units up to 928.6 sq. ft., 59 would be one bedroom plus a den, and six would be studio apartments.

It would also be subject to a housing agreement with the city that guarantees the building remains a rental for at least 20 years.

The project requires an amendment to the city’s official community plan as well as a rezoning of the property from mixed use to multi-family residential.

Coun. Zoe Royer said at last Tuesday’s city council meeting that the tradeoff of street-level commercial use at that site is worth the addition of new rental apartments.

“I’m OK with no commercial,” she said. “I think this is what we need.”

Coun. Diana Dilworth expressed concern about a lack of commitment from the developer to  include any non-market units in the project. But when she asked whether Woodbridge would be making a financial contribution to the city’s affordable housing reserve fund, Port Moody senior planner Doug Allen said the developer considered the rental project itself “a community amenity.”

At an earlier meeting of council’s committee of the whole that first considered the project, Woodbridge’s Jamie Howard said the company couldn’t say what the rents would be in the new building.

“The whole point of having a rental market is not to be restricted,” he said.

While the building’s 151 parking spots will be fewer than the 213 required by the city, in his report to council, Allen said the ratio of 1.26 spots per unit was in line with a recent study by Metro Vancouver that suggested 1.28 spots per unit is adequate for residential project in close proximity to SkyTrain stations.. The site is 600 metres from the Inlet Centre SkyTrain station and 705 metres from the Moody Centre station.

In addition, Allen said the developer would provide a Compass transit card preloaded with $100 to every unit at a total cost of more than $14,000.

The project goes to a public hearing on Nov. 28.

Tri-City News