Coquitlam council and developer clash over Fraser Mills details

City says Beedie's numbers on homes and park space in huge redevelopment of former mill site are still subject to public consultation

The City of Coquitlam is pushing back against several assertions made by a developer about its plans for the Fraser Mills site in southwest Coquitlam.

During a presentation last week to the Real Estate Institute of BC, David Roppel, Beedie Living’s director of residential development, said plans for the riverfront project included 16 acres of park space, 118 market-rental units and 117 below-market rental units. 

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But Jim McIntyre, Coquit-lam’s GM of planning and development, said some of the numbers are still being discussed and that any final agreements for the site would be subject to public consultation. “The project is still in review,” he said. “It hasn’t had the full-blown public consultation process yet. That is all to come.”

One area of disagreement between the city and the developer appears to be how much park space will be included in the project. According to Beedie’s Fraser Mills website, the area will include “16 acres of public park, a state-of-the-art public aquatic and recreation centre, comprehensive pedestrian and bike trails, pier, plaza... and other amenities.”

McIntyre said the amount of parkland proposed is actually much smaller because Beedie’s 16-acre figure includes 6.9 acres of environmental preservation areas, including 1.9 acres of riparian space around Como Creek and five acres of greenway habitat compensation.

“Under federal and provincial government legislation, this green space protection would be required of any development,” McIntyre said. “The true usable park total is about 9.4 acres.”

In a follow-up email, Roppel acknowledged that while much of the land will be used for open spaces, including a foreshore walkway, riverfront park and riverfront plaza, some of the 16 acres includes riparian planting. 

McIntyre said any talk about hard numbers around market and below-market rental housing is premature, noting that the figures are still under discussion. There is also a disagreement over the size of a public aquatic complex Beedie would be required to provide as part of the development.

While Roppel and Beedie’s website state the facility is expected to be 40,000 sq. ft., the number has yet to be finalized and is still part of negotiations. 

At completion, the 95-acre Fraser Mills development is expected to contain 4,700 residential units in 16 to 18 towers. The project is also expected to include employment space for at least 1,500 jobs.

 

SETTING IT STRAIGHT

Re. “Beedie lays out plan for massive Fraser Mills dev’t. that will be years in making” (The Tri-City News, Nov. 2).

The referenced story incorrectly reported that Beedie Living’s Fraser Mills development planned in southwest Coquitlam would have 13,000 sq. ft. of commercial/retail space. In fact, while the final number is still being negotiated, it is expected to be significantly higher, creating enough floor space for at least 1,500 jobs. The article also stated that an aquatic centre included in the project would be 30,000 sq. ft. But in a follow-up interview, Beedie stated the facility is expected to be 40,000 sq. ft., although the final number has yet to be finalized with the city.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

 

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