How much would it cost for the City of Vancouver to buy both the Arbutus rail corridor and Granville Island? The price tags are unclear, but it appears the mayor is willing to pony up the city's dough.
Gregor Robertson has sent a letter to residents along Canadian Pacific Railway's West Side corridor. The July 15 letter states:
CPR has offered to sell the Arbutus Corridor lands to the City. The City had an independent appraisal done of the Arbutus Corridor lands, and is prepared to pay fair market value for the land. Unfortunately, to date CPR has not been receptive to our offers. The City will continue to work towards reaching a reasonable, fair agreement with CPR that is reflective of the Arbutus Corridor ODP [official development plan].
Robertson has also authored a motion on the agenda for city council's meeting on Tuesday (July 22).
The self-referential motion would see the mayor "reiterate Vancouver's opposition to the Federal Government of Port Metro Vancouver taking control of Granville Island, and that the City's position is that it should remain under local control". It would also ask city staff to report back on "options for the City buying or leasing it to retain local control".
However, buying these lands may be easier said than done.
In an interview with CBC's The Early Edition this morning (July 21), NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe pointed out that, for one thing, an attempt to transfer ownership of Granville Island from the federal government to the city could raise aboriginal title issues.