First towers proposed for Port Moody’s St. Johns Street

An artist's rendering of a new developing on St. Johns Street being proposed by the Berezan Group | Photo: Contributed

Port Moody residents will get their first look on Jan. 31 at a mixed-use development proposed for the 3200-block of St. Johns Street.

The Berezan Group, a Langley-based developer, is holding a community information meeting in the Inlet Theatre Galleria from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with a formal presentation at 7 p.m.

Ralph Berezan said the project would be comprised of three residential towers of 20, 24, and 26 storeys, with a total of 601 units, including 84 rental units. The towers would sit atop podiums with 50,104 sq. ft. of commercial space.

Berezan said he has owned the properties since the 1970s. They’re currently occupied by light industrial and commercial tenants like an auto repair garage, Koko’s Activity Centre and Brew Street Craft and Kitchen.

Berezan said the arrival of SkyTrain’s Evergreen Extension made the time right to realize the site’s potential.

“I think it’s even better we build these clusters of housing around these rapid transit stations,” Berezan said of the site’s location just a few hundred metres west of the Inlet Centre SkyTrain station.

Redevelopment of the properties would require an amendment to Port Moody’s official community plan as well as rezoning.

The site is east of Port Moody’s new transit-oriented development area that runs between St. Johns Street and the railroad tracks, from Moody Street to Electronic Avenue, which will transform the six square blocks around the Moody Centre station to a dense, pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood of multi-family residential buildings from six to 26 storeys, shops, offices, wide sidewalks and public plazas. The amendment to the city’s official community plan for that area was adopted by city council Nov. 30 after a contentious two-and-a-half hour public meeting and vigorous debate that raised the spectre of the area turning into another cluster of towers like Burnaby’s Metrotown or the Burquitlam neighbourhood in Coquitlam.

Berezan’s project would represent the first incursion of highrises along St. Johns but he said people have to look past that to the amenities that would come with the development, including the possibility of a grocery store. And while he couldn’t say whether a reborn pub might be part of the plan, Berezan did say he still owns the licence for a beer and wine store at the site.

The plan for the property also includes the enhancement of Pigeon Creek. Berezan said he acquired the stretch of property through which the creek runs just a couple of years ago at the city’s behest so its restoration could be part of any future redevelopment.

“You have to be serious about creating a nice place for the people that are going to be living there,” Berezan said.

Tri-City News