Richmond is suddenly much closer to getting a new SkyTrain station.
Thanks to the frenetic pace of housing development in the Capstan Village area near No. 3 Road, the City of Richmond announced last week that it is handing over $3.5 million to Translink to begin preliminary design of the new Capstan Station.
The transit stop, to be located at the intersection of Capstan Way and No. 3 Road, has been in the works since the Canada Line was built in 2009. Instead of relying on public funding for its construction, a funding agreement was set up in 2012, in which construction of the station was dependent on payment from real estate sales on the adjacent plots of land.
The adjacent properties, developed largely by Pinnacle International and Concord Pacific, will eventually contain more than 16 towers and more than 2,000 residential units. The City of Richmond has collected around $8,500 per unit as these developments have grown over the last five years to help pay for the station.
As of September this year, the City of Richmond has collected over $19 million in developer contributions, which is approximately 70 per cent of the total amount required to build the station. These funds have accumulated ‘much more rapidly than the 15-year time frame originally anticipated,’ according to a City of Richmond committee report published last week.
Based on the current rate of contributions and planned development around the Capstan Way Station lands moving forward, ‘staff anticipate that the full funding could potentially be achieved as early as Spring 2018.’
Once the money is in TransLink’s hands, the transit stop must be completed within 30 months, as per the agreement. This means that Richmond residents and visitors could be riding the rails to Capstan Station as early as fall 2020.
Design work to begin shortly
With construction of the new station possible in the new year, TransLink and the City of Richmond have begun discussing its preliminary design. Early details suggest that there will be some level of integration between the new station and adjacent development (owned by Concord Pacific).
Integration, the report says, would likely connect the development at ground level, similar in design to Marine Gateway Station. It would offer ‘continuous weather protection and a seamless walking surface to enhance passenger convenience, comfort and safety.’
Other stations have been built with partnerships
Capstan Way is not the only station where this kind of funding arrangement has taken place.
Lincoln Centre Station in the Evergreen Line, for example, was funded through a partnership between the Federal Government, the City of Coquitlam, and the owners of Coquitlam Centre Mall. Although it wasn’t part of the initial scope for the Evergreen Line, a deal was reached early enough in the Canada Line’s planning that the station opened with the rest of the extension last November.
Other potential stations along the Canada Line include 33rd Avenue and 57th Avenue, both of which could be built with a similar funding structure. A second station at YVR is also planned, but would be funded entirely by the airport authority.