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Bosa Foods proposal for Port Moody could use more heritage character: report

Currently Port Moody has only two grocery stores, but one of them is scheduled to close in October.
A proposed six-storey rental project on St. Johns Street includes a Bosa Foods grocery store with an outdoor patio.

A proposed six-storey mixed use rental building that would bring a Bosa Foods grocery store to Port Moody’s downtown may not have enough heritage characteristics in its design to fit into the neighbourhood.

That’s the conclusion of Port Moody development planner, Armita Afsahi, in a report, as the plan goes before the city’s advisory design panel for review on Thursday (Sept. 28).

The building, designed by Cornerstone Architecture, would be located on two lots on the southwest corner of St. Johns and Queens streets. It would be comprised of 48 market rental apartments atop a two-storey podium that contains the 9,620 sq. ft. grocery store facing St. Johns with a parkade for residents and shoppers in behind. As well, there would be a rooftop greenhouse and communal amenity space for residents along with a children’s play area on the third level.

The grocery store also features a covered outdoor patio along St. Johns were shoppers could enjoy fresh coffee, baked goods and sandwiches from its deli counter.

In the report, Afsahi said while both lots are located within the Moody Centre heritage conservation area that’s supposed to respect the neighbourhood’s historic character, and there is a protected heritage building to the west, “the character of the residential floors lacks observable references to heritage character or its aesthetics.”

Afsahi said while the commercial podium does a better job of referencing Port Moody’s heritage, “staff encourages further exploration to achieve a better character with slightly more evident heritage-inspired elements.”

The plan’s 48 market rental units meets the city’s requirements for affordable housing, according to the report, and its 12 two-bedroom apartments and another seven with three bedrooms conform to the city’s policy to encourage family-friendly housing.

In its letter of application submitted in February, Cornerstone said its proposal “serves the needs of the food store as the main driver of this effort, as well as supports the St. Johns commercial corridor and surrounding residential neighbourhood.

Currently, Port Moody has only two grocery stores; the Thrifty’s in Suter Brook and an IGA next to NewPort Village. But the latter is scheduled to close in October. Vancovuer-based PCI Developments has proposed a full-service grocery store as part of its Moody Centre project that includes two 39-storey rental towers and another grocery store is part of Wesgroup’s massive redevelopment of the Coronation Park neighbourhood. That project goes to public hearing for rezoning on Oct. 3.

Recommendations from the advisory design panel aren't binding. For the project to proceed, the proponent will require amendments to city's zoning and official community plan bylaws to be approved by council.

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