Real estate boom, height lift spur growth in Austin Heights

The old Safeway on Austin Avenue is down to make way for a new and expanded grocery store. The property owner, Beedie Living, plans to build two new highrises after the store opens in the summer of 2019.


In the centre of Austin Heights, one of Coquitlam’s oldest neighbourhoods, excavators are at work tearing up the ground on the old Safeway site to make way for a massive redevelopment.

The 91,500-sq. ft. property at 1029-1033 Austin Ave. is owned by Beedie Living, the company that built the first highrise in the district after city council approved the Austin Heights Neighbourhood Plan in 2011, aimed at adding 5,000 more residents over the next 20 years.

But over the past seven years, there has been little interest by developers to renew the area.

Now, with real estate prices sky high and last year’s lift of the height moratorium on the strip — allowing developers to build up to 25 storeys — there’s been an uptick in activity.

Today’s condo market has meant strong demand and little supply, with the rise of land value now outstripping the building’s worth, said local realtor Wayne Tullis of MacDonald Realty.

And Beedie Living’s plans for the old Safeway site are expected to spur growth even faster.


While Sobeys, the supermarket chain that owns Safeway, is currently rebuilding its grocery store (due to open in the summer of 2019), Beedie is proposing to flank it with two towers, adding retail units at street level and 23 storeys of residential above for a total of 346 new homes.

Next Thursday (Jan. 18), Beedie’s concept will be put to the public at an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion (1025 Ridgeway Ave.) as part of its consultation.

Andrew Merrill, Coquitlam’s community planning manager, said the mega-development comes with a cost: Beedie will have to shell out $9.5 million in development cost charges (DCCs) for new infrastructure, community amenity fees and a density bonus. And it will be responsible for streetscape frontage upgrades along Austin and Ridgeway avenues, and Nelson Street.

The area rejuvenation is music to the ears of Lisa Landry, executive director of the Austin Heights Business Improvement Association, which last month saw its five-year budget and mandate renewed by city council (the 69 area property owners will vote on the plans this month).

As the district is the last big commercial core before the Port Mann bridge, Landry said, entrepreneurs are flocking to Austin Heights and opening new shops: Artisan Gifts and Flowers, and Coffee + Vanilla — among others — moved in last year and, next month, chartered accountant Sharon Perry Inc. is set to relocate her office into the Meegan Business Centre.


Besides the new tenants, more redevelopment is coming, Merrill said, citing a rezoning bid for a five-storey building (with 75 purpose-built rental units and a new church) at the Como Lake United Church property at King Albert Avenue and Marmont Street (council gave second and third bylaw readings on Nov. 27); and a pre-application for a 13-storey mixed-used building with about 79 residential units plus ground-floor commercial, at 1044-1046 Austin Ave.

Meanwhile, city hall is getting a lot of queries about the old post office on Ridgeway, he said.

Landry said the BIA — which represents 280 businesses in an area bounded by Gatensbury and Blue Mountain, and Ridgeway and Austin, some of which have been in the neighbourhood for more than four decades — plans to showcase the revitalization in a series of marketing efforts.

“It’s an exciting time to be part of Austin Heights and there’s a lot of pride,” she said. “We have seen a large turnover with the real estate boom and we want to tell businesses coming into the area that we have a very loyal customer base, and we are invested and committed.”

Provided by: Janis Cleugh / Tri-City News

Simon Fraser
Market Update

Simon Fraser Condos

Altaire by Polygon

Altaire built in 2008/2009 reaches higher then any other condo building in Metro Vancouver offering panoramic views.

Novo I by Intergulf

Novo I built in 2007 known for the amazing sight lines and views from most units and balconies up to 1000 sq ft.

Novo II by Intergulf

Novo II built in 2007 known for the amazing sight lines and views from most units and balconies up to 1000 sq ft.

Aurora by Polygon

Aurora built in 2006 with 103 condos featuring 36 unique floor plans ranging from 715 sq ft to 1500 sq ft.

One University by Millennium

One University built in 2005 is UniverCity's flagship building with luxury homes featuring semi private elevators.

Harmony by Polygon

Harmony built in 2005 was the first condo development at Univercity & as a result offers a unique setting & views.

Serenity Townhomes by Polygon

Serenity is a collection of 2 bedroom townhomes of 1100 sq ft ranging to 4 bedroom 2000+ sq ft townhomes.

The Hub by Liberty Homes

The Hub built in 2009 is set atop Nester's Grocery and steps from High Street giving these homes an urban feel.

Verdant by VanCity Enterprises

Verdant is a two storey town home building built with environmental design and stylish living spaces which complement the modern exterior of these SFU homes.

Origin by Porte Development

Origin is designed by GBL Architect & BYU Interior Designs, developed by Porte Development Corp. and marketed by Red Dot Real Estate.

Nest by Mosaic

Located on UniverCity High Street across from the new University Highlands elementary schools this refreshing building will add further depth to a growing community.

Highland House by Liberty Homes

A 12-storey concrete high-rise development and targeted towards Rental Investors and First-Time Condo Buyers.

Lift by Porte Development

Lift will be a wood frame building comprising of 56 homes. Building technologies, environmental features, and price points should be similar to Origin.

Altitude by Hungerford Group

Altitude will be a 2 tower development comprising of a 12 and 14 story building with a total of 210 strata units.

CentreBlock by Liberty Homes

CentreBlock at UniverCity atop Burnaby Mountain is the latest condo project with sales commencing early 2014. .

Reciprocity Logo The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB.