Towers proposed for Coquitlam Centre Eleven new highrises could go up near Lincoln Station
Plans to build 11 towers next to the Lincoln SkyTrain station as the first phase of the Coquitlam Centre mall redevelopment are in the works at city hall.
But putting a shovel in the ground is going to take a while.
Morguard Investments, which manages the mall, has four applications on file for the property. One is for a development permit for the first phase of the project which proposes "approximately 11 towers." The highrises would be constructed on the northeast corner of the mall property's footprint along the west side of Pinetree Way. They would be between Atlantic and Northern avenues to the north and the former Sears building to the south, said Jeff Denney, the city's major project planner.
Morguard is also applying to change the official community plan to add more commercial and office space and a higher density to the project. Denney emphasized the process is in the very early stages.
"There's a lot of work ahead for this. It's more geared toward land use and site planning versus the towers at this stage," said Denney.
Morguard is also applying to have the city's official community plan amended from being general commercial and City Centre commercial to all City Centre commercial. It's so preliminary at this point, it's unlikely any of the applications will appear before council, let alone go to public hearing, before the fall. The city is also in the late stages of updating its City Centre area plan.
"It's difficult to estimate timelines at this point," said Denney. "There's just a lot of work ahead of us. We have to identify the parks and open space needs, school needs.
"Those are high level things we will consider in terms of the overall planning direction for the mall site… It's definitely exciting."
Morguard did not respond to an interview request from The Tri-City News. In November 2016, Morguard asset manager Ken Moffatt told the News there would be an expansion of retail, some commercial and "most probably the introduction of plenty of residential."
At the time, Morguard said they planned to develop a master plan to guide development in the area for the next 50 to 70 years.
Coquitlam Centre is close to three SkyTrain stations, which puts it in an even better situation than the massive development currently underway at Brentwood Town Centre in Burnaby and the ones in the works at Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby and Oakridge Centre in Vancouver, all of which have rapid transit stations.
With a 57-acre footprint, the Coquitlam Centre project has a potential to be even bigger than the others. Brentwood will have 12 towers on a 28-acre site when it's completed, including one that was recently topped off in construction at 63 storeys. Lougheed is expected to have 23 towers on a 40-acre site. Oakridge's plans call for 10 towers on 28.5 acres.
Despite the long-term major redevelopment plans, a significant tenant for the mall signed on last week. According to two Canadian retail websites, Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo announced plans to open three new outlets in the Toronto area and at Coquitlam Centre. Retail Insider said Uniqlo will take over a 12,000 square foot space on the second level of the Walmart wing where Old Navy used to be.
That gives Uniqlo nine stores in Canada and four in the Lower Mainland. It opened its first in B.C. in October 2017, a 20,000 sq. ft. outlet in Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby. Since then it has opened a 12,800 sq. ft. store in Guildford Town Centre in Surrey and an 8,000 sq. ft. outlet at Richmond