New detailed artistic renderings recently released show the potential scale of the redevelopment of the Fraser Mills site on Coquitlam’s Fraser River waterfront.
Local developer Beedie is proposing to redevelop the 94-acre former sawmill site, located just south of IKEA Coquitlam and the Trans-Canada Highway at King Edward Street, into a mixed-use district with a combination of residential and commercial uses. The scope and scale of this project is similar to River District in southeast Vancouver.
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There could be approximately 5,000 homes within a combination of low-rise and high-rise buildings, including 16 towers. A total of 185 of these homes will be set aside as rental housing, with 93 market rental units and 92 below-market rental units.
For commercial uses, the former Air Care site will be turned into a production and innovation hub, with a new office building creating 271 jobs. Plans entail clusters of commercial and retail space along United Boulevard and Riverfront Plaza.
All uses combined are expected to create homes for over 10,000 people and employment spaces for nearly 2,000 jobs.
Significant public spaces and amenities are planned to support the level of new density on what is currently a largely vacant industrial site.
The redevelopment is proposed to create about 16 acres of public spaces, including parks, wharfs, plazas, trails and pathways, and an upgrade of the 13,000-sq-ft Kiewit Wharf for public use.
There will also be an aquatic centre next to the Riverfront Plaza, opening up public access to the river and serving as a community hub. The plaza itself will be animated by cafes, restaurants, boardwalks, public art, and seating areas, with a design that also allows for community events such as festivals, farmers’ markets, buskers, food trucks, and music.
The need for improved public transit connections to accommodate the transportation demand that can be anticipated is in the process of being finalized, with the municipal government and TransLink working to provide new public transit services to avoid a scenario where they are catching up on demand, like what is being experienced with River District.
The developer will provide TransLink with funding to support the additional transit service required.
“The proposed agreement between Beedie, Coquitlam and TransLink is a unique opportunity to increase the delivery of transit service in southeast Coquitlam by leveraging funding from a third party, while also advancing the development of the Transit Service Partnership (TSP) policy through practice,” reads a TransLink staff report.
“Given that the agreement would not involve any previously committed TransLink funding, and is not projected to require any additional fleet, staff consider it to be relatively low risk and likely to provide valuable insight on the development and implementation of potential future TSP agreements.”
Construction could begin in early 2021, specifically beginning with the Riverfront Park and community hub, before construction shifts to the residential, commercial, and public facilities. The entire redevelopment will be constructed in nine phases, with initial residential occupancy beginning sometime in 2025.
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Editor’s note: This article has been edited to emphasize that the project is still in its application stage, and its details have yet to be finalized.