The Town & Centre mixed-use development by Mosaic Homes represents not just the first new high-rise housing to hit the Coquitlam Town Centre market in six years, but is part of a long-term shift for its developer.
Planned as two high-rise towers totalling 550 condominiums, purpose-built rental and townhomes, it will include retail space and amenities in a neighbourhood that is about to undergo a “very significant transformation,” according to Geoff Duyker, the senior vice-president of marketing for Mosaic.
The homebuilder develops and builds townhomes, multifamily housing and purpose-built rentals, and some industrial and commercial assets. It has built over 7,000 homes since its founding 24 years ago.
In an interview with RENX Homes, Duyker spoke about the changes the Vancouver-based homebuilder has made in adapting to Canada's shortage of housing supply, “unprecedented population growth” and rising costs impacting the industry.
“No question that affordability is a big challenge for buyers today with interest rates, but that doesn’t mean buyers’ needs have changed,” he said. “What we have done is, ‘OK, how can we deliver the functionality that a buyer needs in less space so they can get into a home that meets their functional needs at a cost they can afford.’”
Town & Centre
Set to be built on the edge of Coquitlam Town Centre, the Town & Centre project features homes and condos ranging from studio units measuring 435 square feet to three-bedroom suites exceeding 1,100 square feet.
The south tower will contain condo units, 70 purpose-built rentals units and four townhomes on the ground level, while the north tower will consist of entirely condo units.
A co-working space, gym and an outdoor amenity area are expected to be present.
The prices for condo units are expected to range from $500,000 to approximately $1 million. Rents are not currently set.
This will be first high-rise constructed in Coquitlam Town Centre in six years, and is attached to a neighbourhood that is on the verge of significant growth, according to Duyker. The area is shifting from a well-established, mixed-use community to one with more housing, amenities, hotels, restaurants and a convention centre, he said.
Complementing the residential space will be 12,000 square feet of retail space planned to be situated along Westwood Street. Duyker said possible businesses at the retail space could include a coffee shop, professional services and a daycare.
As for transit, Town & Centre will benefit from the Evergreen Extension of the SkyTrain and be connected to the West Coast Express train, he continued.
Duyker said most of the interest in Town & Centre has come from first-time buyers who grew up in the Tri-Cities of Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam and want to plant roots, or single-family owners looking to simplify their housing situations.
The buyers include both the “mix of people who are buying for an investment and those who are buying to live in.”
Enough sales have been made since December 2023 to start construction on the south tower, with completion projected for late-2026 to early 2027, Duyker said. A starting date for construction on the north tower is not yet determined.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the response,” Duyker said.
Meeting the changing market
The development of Town & Centre is also a notable shift for Mosaic considering its founding. From its early days as one of the biggest townhome builders in British Columbia, Duyker said Mosaic's genesis has followed the dynamics of the Vancouver market - growing up and not out.
The homebuilder shifted to denser, multifamily projects because of Vancouver’s growth and the need for more housing in the urban core, he said. Duyker said Mosaic started building purpose-built rentals 10 years ago and low-rise apartments 14 years ago, and is working to add more purpose-built rentals to the Vancouver market.
It is also navigating a challenging time for the housing development industry. Despite the shortage of housing and high immigration levels, a combination of elevated interest rates, pricier construction costs, building code changes and rapid municipal fee increases make it more difficult to get new projects going.
But Mosaic is hopeful the government wants to help rapidly build housing, with programs to support the financing of rental housing. Duyker said Mosaic is focused on finding ways to meet buyers' needs while providing affordable space, and moving ahead with as many projects as it can.
The firm recently sold out a concrete mid-rise development of one-, two- and three-bedroom units on the Simon Fraser University campus.