Three-party collaboration promised to improve dual city-bordered area
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
With the recent developments being implemented alongside the Evergreen Line, it should surprise no one that Coquitlam city officials have finally decided to improve the suburb of Burquitlam.
It has been 14 years since the Lougheed and Burquitlam Neighbourhood Plans were introduced back in 2002. In a three-way partnership, the City of Coquitlam, the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, and Concert Properties have united to connect Burquitlam residents together through two confirmed initiatives.
The first initiative, a new YMCA facility, estimated between 50,000–60,000 square feet, is in the works and slated to be opened by 2021. An amenity such as this is a definite hub to strengthen neighbourhood bonds and nurture families and people from all age groups. No specifics have been laid down, but most YMCAs include a pool, steam rooms, change rooms, lounge areas, childcare, and multiple workout spaces (including a gym, yoga studio, and strength/conditioning zones).
“At the Y, we believe everyone can reach their potential when they are active, learning and connected,” said Stephen Butz, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver during a press release. “By working together through this landmark partnership, we are able to provide a generation of children and families in the Burquitlam Community with a facility that will help the whole community be more healthy and engaged.”
The future YMCA will be built upon 2.1 acres of Burquitlam Park, leaving 1.5 acres as public space. The partnership comes into play as the Burquitlam Park owned by the City of Coquitlam, will permit construction upon agreement terms to expand Cottonwood Park, owned by Concert Properties.
The second initiative, an expansion of Cottonwood Park, will come as a welcoming surprise to nearby residents. Concert Properties, owners of the surrounding land encompassing the park, have agreed to add 2.55 acres to the site, increasing the land space two-fold and increasing the overall area of park space in the city by 0.5 acres. A portion of the land is being considered to provide amenities for the nearby Evergreen station, such as a park and ride facility. The Cottonwood Park expansion is scheduled to be completed by 2019.
“This project fulfills the City’s promise to provide a recreation facility to the Burquitlam neighbourhood,” said Mayor Richard Stewart in a press statement. “Both the new YMCA and the expansion of Cottonwood Park will be great community assets. And, through the innovative partnership with the YMCA and Concert Properties, we will achieve substantial community and financial benefits for Coquitlam residents—much more than what might have been achieved by acting alone.”