Transforming Port Moody’s Landscape: The Journey of Andrés Wine’s Redevelopment
In an exciting turn of events, the ambitious redevelopment project for the old Andrés Wine property in Port Moody is finally poised to receive final approval. After facing significant challenges and a near-death experience in 2022, the Westport Village project is now back on track and expected to gain council approval on Tuesday, July 25.
The journey to bring this visionary project to life has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. The proposal, put forth by Andrew Peller Ltd., was met with enthusiasm by the Port Moody city council in 2019 when it granted third reading for the necessary zoning and official community plan bylaw amendments. However, just when it seemed like the project was gaining momentum, a tie vote last July denied the developer’s request for a one-year extension to the three-year limit between third and fourth readings, throwing the whole project into uncertainty.
But the development team remained determined, and with the support of a legal opinion from the city’s lawyers, the project was given another chance. A week later, the council approved the requested extension, giving the Westport Village project the lifeline it needed to survive.
The vision for Westport Village is as grand as it is transformative. The five-acre industrial property at the corner of Clarke Street and the Barnet Highway will undergo a complete metamorphosis, becoming a vibrant mixed-use urban neighbourhood. The proposed features of the development are nothing short of remarkable:
- Mixed Housing Towers: The project will introduce strata, rental, and seniors housing in three towers that may rise up to an impressive 31 storeys.
- Arts and Culture Hub: An arts centre and theater will be constructed, catering to the creative community and fostering cultural enrichment.
- Artist Studios: Live-work studios will be made available to artists, providing a nurturing environment for their craft.
- Community Space: A public plaza will serve as a gathering point for residents, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie.
- Commercial and Retail Spaces: The development will include various retail, office, and medical spaces to cater to the needs of the growing community.
- Convenience Stores: Residents can expect the convenience of a grocery store right at their doorstep.
- Potential Hotel: A hotel might also find its place within the development, catering to visitors and tourists.
Additionally, the project aims to enhance the natural surroundings by rehabilitating a portion of South Schoolhouse Creek that runs alongside the property. This restored area will be transferred to the city, and a new trail along the creek will be constructed. The Trans Canada Trail will also see relocation to accommodate the new development.
While initial plans for a shuttle bus connecting the neighbourhood to the Moody Centre SkyTrain station proved too complex, the developer has come up with an alternative solution. Andrew Peller Ltd. will contribute a generous sum of $1.12 million to the city, earmarked for improving cycling and pedestrian routes that will connect to the SkyTrain station. This gesture aligns with the project’s commitment to benefit not only its future residents but the broader community as well.
John Peller, CEO of Andrew Peller Ltd., is unwavering in his dedication to making this project a reality. He envisions Westport Village as a lasting legacy of the winery’s long history in Port Moody, and he is eager to create a space that will leave a positive impact for generations to come.
The upcoming council meeting on July 25 is a critical milestone for the Westport Village project. If the amendments to the zoning and official community plan bylaws receive final approval, and the development permits for the first phase are granted, it will pave the way for an exciting and transformative journey for Port Moody. The city is on the brink of welcoming a dynamic urban neighbourhood that will combine modern living, arts and culture, and community engagement, all while preserving and celebrating its rich natural heritage. As the council deliberates on this pivotal decision, the residents of Port Moody hold their breath in anticipation, eager to witness the dawn of a new era for their beloved city.