The Vision of Fraser Mills – A Discussion with Ryan Beedie
Ryan Beedie holds a vision that stretches beyond structures and land parcels. As president of Beedie, his look forward is one of longevity, creating communities that endure, and of opportunity, developing places where people and businesses will thrive. From this vision, Fraser Mills was born.
“We are incredibly excited to bring Fraser Mills to life. It’s Coquitlam’s first waterfront community, it’s in a prime location that brings together a vibrant mix of homes, workplaces and public spaces, and it’s being built to more than stand the test of time.”
– Ryan Beedie
Despite the clarity of concept now, Fraser Mills was not originally intended to become the pivotal landmark it has evolved into. “Our original intent was to earmark the land for an industrial park,” Ryan recalls. However, the draw of the vast riverfront space proved too compelling to resist. As they walked the site for the first time, Ryan and his team couldn’t help but envision the potential of this riverfront property. “I got the feeling of what an amazing place this could be to live,” he shared. “What a gem of an opportunity for the residents of Coquitlam and the surrounding area to have access to the river. We saw then what this could be.” It was this realization that spurred Beedie to take a chance and turn Fraser Mills into an all-encompassing community, building a great neighbourhood on the river that contains residential in addition to light industrial and commercial.
The transformation of the site into a residential area means that future residents and visitors will have the unique opportunity to access the river and all the shared outdoor spaces planned for the community. People can live, work, and play there; everything needed is going to be within walking distance. As Ryan explained, these amenities will support the formation of a real sense of community, emanating from the riverfront. That spirit of unity is at the heart of his dream for Fraser Mills. Ryan sees the plaza as a central location for residents and visitors alike, a gathering place for festivals, concerts, and community events. “I love the idea of a meeting place where people come and gather,” Ryan shared, “not only for local residents but for everyone in the region. I can see people going for a run, going for a walk, enjoying that riverfront park. It’s a unique offering from almost any other development in Metro Vancouver right now.”
The spirit of community and the power of legacy are keystones of this new neighbourhood. “The same values that drive our company are driving such a positive development,” asserted Ryan. “The creation of the sense of community, the sustainability factored in, the long-term reputation – I see a complete alignment between the values of Beedie and what Fraser Mills is going to be.”.
“Fraser Mills is going to be really attractive for people who want to move there, who want to work there and who can have their whole life there.”
As president of the company, Ryan sees Fraser Mills as a legacy statement for Beedie. “We’re a family-owned company that thinks about long-standing reputation and the long game,” he emphasized. This project, he believes, reflects Beedie’s enduring commitment to creating quality, community-oriented developments as it has for the last 70 years. With roots in residential development, Beedie has since become known as a prominent industrial developer. Recent years have brought it back to expanding the residential division, priming the company for a large legacy project like Fraser Mills.
Along with many others, Ryan is waiting with anticipation to break ground on the first project to be built in Fraser Mills. “We’re really excited about the launch of our gateway tower” Ryan said. “Fraser Mills has been a long time in the making, so to reach this point is so exciting for the company. It’s the tangible beginning of this incredible multi-year multi-phase development that’s going to transform the region, and our first community sets the tone for that future. We’re creating an offering that people are really going to love and want to live in, and it represents the start of this extraordinary opportunity that we’re going to be developing in the years to come.”
Ultimately, Ryan’s vision goes beyond building towers; it’s about creating places that nurture life. How does he envision a successful result? “It’s going to be the joy on people’s faces when they’re at Fraser Mills and enjoying their lives. Whether they’re living there or just coming down to the aquatic centre to play, seeing the impact it’s going to have on people. That’s what’s going to drive real satisfaction in my heart, knowing that we’ve done a good job.”
As Fraser Mills moves ahead, the project offers an extraordinary opportunity. “When does one in their career have the opportunity to basically build a town?” he mused. “Fraser Mills is going to be a 15- or 20-year project that will forever be associated with Beedie. That longevity, that legacy, is a real driver for us. We say we are ‘built for good’, but we’re also building for the long-term. Having our name stamped on that project is not only exciting for me, but for everybody working in this business.”