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Tri-Cities turn to transit-oriented development to accommodate population boom

‘Unprecedented’ developments planned to accommodate projected population growth
A rendering of Mosaic Home’s Town and Centre project on the border of Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam near SkyTrain

The type of homes you see throughout Tri-Cities communities may be very different 10 years from now.

Population growth, increasing demand for housing and new provincial legislation have set the stage for “unprecedented” growth in the area, said Leslie Courchesne, CEO of the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce. The result is an increasing number of master-planned communities, new transit-oriented development (TOD) and a rethinking of the kinds of developments that are needed in the area.

“The number of master-planned communities of significant size … is something we’ve never seen before. It’s exciting, but it also really brings to the forefront how important it is for the region to be working together to make sure we get this right,” said Courchesne.

Examples of new and vast developments are Coronation Heights by Polygon Homes Ltd. in Coquitlam, which will add more than 2,800 housing units across nine towers and roughly 4.5 hectares of land.

Wesgroup Properties is seeking approval on their Coronation Park neighbourhood redevelopment. Once complete, it will transform 59 single-family homes into 2,587 housing units across six towers and various low-rise buildings. Located near the Inlet Skytrain Station, it is the largest redevelopment project in Port Moody’s history.

Icona Properties’ Anmore South project aims to deliver another 3,500 housing units in the Village of Anmore, and Beedie Living has a nearly 39-hectare master-planned community along the Fraser River in South Coquitlam.

“There’s a lot coming online now. There was, it would be safe to say, a period of time where there was not much getting approved and not a lot moving forward,” said Geoff Duyker, senior vice-president of Mosaic Homes.

When Mosaic announced their Town and Centre project in November 2023, it was the first time since 2018 that residents had an opportunity to buy pre-sale units in Coquitlam Town Centre, according to Duyker.

The Tri-Cities area has multiple advantages in the form of natural amenities and an already-established SkyTrain system, he said.

“If you look at the Fraser Valley, that’s a challenge there. Transit hasn’t really come to the Fraser Valley to the same extent that it has come to the Tri-Cities,” Duyker said. “In terms of doing high density and high rise, it makes a lot of sense in the Tri-Cities to do that along transit.”

The province approved legislation in November that encourages the development of housing around transit stations.

TOD is also identified as a specific area that Port Moody wants to “evolve over the next 30 years” as part of their Port Moody 2050 plan, which will inform the Official Community Plan.

In an email to BIV, general manager of community development Kate Zanon said that Port Moody decided to pause public engagement on their plan and will resume that in early 2025.

While Zanon was not able to share many details on the plan due to the pause, she said that a main focus is building around transit and taking new, holistic approaches to building “complete communities.”

Duyker said that Mosaic experienced this approach first-hand when they worked with the city on their Moody Yards project, located near Moody Centre SkyTrain and Brewers Row.

“Not only is there commercial space for your traditional coffee shop, physiotherapy clinic, potential mom-and-pop retail, but also for light industrial zoning that speaks to historically what occurred there,” he said.