This is the biggest construction hole in the Lower Mainland:
 Suter Brook Construction
It’s at the corner of Ioco Road, between Murray and St. Johns Street, in Port Moody.  (Here’s the webcam.)
And this is what will fill it:
Suter Brook
The Onni Group is developing this mixed-use complex next to Polygon’s Klahanie, across the street from the Port Moody City Hall and cater-corner from Newport Village – the precedent-setting Bosa development from the mid-90s.  (You can fine more on the village in Price Tags 63.)
Suter Brook will have 1,250 residential units, 200,000 square feet of retail, including a 30,000 square-foot supermarket (Thrifty’s) and 45,000 square feet of office.  Architect Larry Doyle’s design is very urban, incorporating many of the elements of the ‘Vancouver Style’ – point-and-podium towers, townhouses, underground parking, smaller blocks, hard- and soft public spaces, a regard for the street, and an expectation of transit.  (The Evergreen Line will run by the southeast corner.)
Port Moody is one of the Lower Mainland’s smaller communities – about 15 miles (24 km) from downtown Vancouver at the head of Burrard Inlet, only 10 square miles (26.21 sq. km) inarea, home to 29,000 people.  It’s also second only to West Vancouver in average income.  Not the kind of place you’d expect would embrace growth and high-profile urban design.
Perhaps because of its dynamic leadership over the last decade, Port Moody has become the precedent-setter for Vancouver suburbs.  Mayor Joe Trasolini just got back from China, there to accept an award recognizing Port Moody’s achievement: 

Port Moody captured first place in the international “Planning for the Future” award (over 50 competing cities included Honolulu, Seattle, Westminster, U.K., Camden, Australia as well as cities from Australia, U.S., Czech Republic, and Ireland). The city also captured third place overall in their population category for the “most liveable community in the world”.

Well, there goes Vancouver’s title.  And good thing too.  The future is in the suburbs – or what the suburbs will become as they evolve.  Port Moody is already there.

Comments

  1. I agree that Port Moody seems to be doing a good job of densifying (I’m not that familiar with the area other than what I see on the occasional drive to Buntzen Lake for hiking in the summer).
    The geography of the area forms a nice “bowl” in which to focus development (I can’t necessarily see a dense commercial retail / mixed use area on the hillsides, though I hear a midrise has been approved for Heritage Mountain).
    My guess though, from what I read in the local papers, is that, as with other communities, the larger developments are occurring on large tracts that were previously industrial lands and there is still community tension / opposition with the redevelopment of the existing built-up areas (ie. I think there was an issue with a proposed 6(?) storey project on St. John’s Street).
    Seems like the suburbs aren’t much different from the City…

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