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First set of 'TriCity Central' plans to go before Coquitlam council this summer for approval

Marcon and the Quadreal Property Group are now readying the land at the southeastern corner of Lougheed and Barnet highways for “TriCity Central,” a proposed master plan that, if approved by city council, will house about 8,000 residents and see about half the retail space of Coquitlam Centre mall.

The pub is now razed. And soon, too, the car dealership will go at Tri-Cities’ busiest junction.

Marcon and the Quadreal Property Group are now readying the land at the southeastern corner of Lougheed and Barnet highways for “TriCity Central,” a proposed master plan that, if approved by city council, will house about 8,000 residents and see about half the retail space of Coquitlam Centre mall.

On Monday (April 11), Marcon’s Nic Paolella and Ryan Bragg of Perkins & Will Architects stood before council-in-committee to give their second update on the massive mixed-use project that, according to city staff, will likely see the first application come to council by the summer after a public consultation.

Paolella said they’ve made some refinements since the bid was introduced last June, including increasing the total conference centre size by 17 per cent, to 24,000 sq. ft.

The ballroom is now proposed to be 40 per cent bigger than originally planned — at 7,200 sq. ft. to accommodate up to 560 guests — while the meeting room area will increase to 2,800 sq. ft.

As well, the childcare hub will have room for 220 kids; previously, it was for 150 children.

Originally branded as “Coquitlam Central,” TriCity Central is planned in two phases on the 11.6-acre site at 2954/65/66/76 Pheasant St., 2960/68 Christmas Way and 2950 Lougheed Hwy.:

  • Phase 1 (north side): Two rental buildings with 1,000 units; one strata building with 500 units; 535,000 sq. ft. for retail, office and a hotel; and a 0.3-acre urban park (to be built in a single phase, with the strata high-rise and office/hotel tower to be constructed first)
  • Phase 2 (south side): Five strata buildings with 2,500 units, 47,000 sq. ft. of retail and a total of 1.65 acres of green space for parks, gardens and paths

Marcon is now in negotiation to buy 2976 Pheasant St. from the City of Coquitlam.

“We feel this site represents something truly unique in the region,” Paolella told the committee, adding — as he had before council in June 2021 — that the development will be the first project in the region to link with a public transit hub with buses, SkyTrain and West Coast Express via an overpass.

Key to the development, he said, will be the parkade reaching eight levels below ground despite the high water table; that design will allow for safer movement at ground level, Paolella said.

As well, all commercial loading will take place underground, at the fourth level.

If approved, the city would stand to gain $150 million in development cost charges (DCC), density bonus payments and community amenity contributions for both phases of the project.

COUNCIL COMMENTS

Asked about the noise levels for rail and vehicle traffic, Paolella said they’ve already secured acoustic engineers to find out how to cut the sound for the residents, visitors and businesses.

Up to 1,500 new jobs are expected to be created at TriCity Central, he said.

Coun. Brent Asmundson thanked Marcon for making the plan revisions following last year’s presentation but asked the company to add more greenery than concrete at the ground level.

Asmundson also asked city staff to look at widening the Christmas Way/Westwood Street intersection, especially for new growth under the City Centre Area Plan.

And he pressed for better architectural designs for the eight towers, while Coun. Chris Wilson encouraged Marcon to include fitness for the future 8,000 residents, shoppers and visitors.

The chair of the city’s Sports and Recreation Advisory Committee, Wilson asked if Marcon could also include indoor courts for pickleball, one of the fastest-growing sports in North America.

Wilson also asked city staff to work with Marcon on making the conference centre larger although Andrew Merrill, Coquitlam’s director of development services, said the proposed centre isn’t designed to compete against Vancouver; rather, it would be similar to large suburban facilities.

Coun. Dennis Marsden said the development, if it gets the eventual green light, might be a model for building high-density, self-contained communities around SkyTrain stations.

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