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TransLink reveals plans for first real estate development

TransLink is planning to build a 30-storey multi-use building near the future Arbutus SkyTrain station. (TransLink) TransLink is planning to build a 30-storey multi-use building near the future Arbutus SkyTrain station. (TransLink)

TransLink has released details about its first foray into real estate development, announcing plans for a 30-storey mixed-use building in Vancouver.

In a statement this week, the transit authority said it has partnered with PCI Developments on a proposal for two plots of land near the intersection of West Broadway and Arbutus Street. The location will put the building a stone's throw away from the future Arbutus SkyTrain station, the westernmost stop planned for the under-construction Broadway subway line.

"This transit-oriented development will improve people’s access to sustainable transportation options, generate new long-term funding for transit services, and provide much-needed housing options," an announcement from TransLink said.

While details are still being finalized, the plan includes street-level retail spaces and more than 200 rental units – 20 per cent of which will be secured at below-market rates for "moderate income owners," the statement from TransLink explained. Community space on the site has been earmarked as the future home of Ohel Ya’akov Community Kollel, a Jewish cultural and education centre.

Faced with dwindling revenues due to the pandemic and a questionable ability to continue to expand to serve a growing population, TransLink announced its plans to expand into real estate in June of last year.

“While we continue to bring riders back to the system after a very difficult two years, this initiative is a creative way to generate funding for essential Metro Vancouver transit services,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn at the time.

"We will still need to identify more long-term funding solutions, but this program will improve people’s access to transit, create more transit-oriented communities and generate new long-term revenue to help us improve and expand our system."

The next step in the plan for this particular development will be a community engagement process, after which a rezoning application will be submitted to the City of Vancouver. There is no estimated timeline for this process, but TransLink says the plans are in line with what is permissible in the Broadway Plan. Top Stories

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