Subway stops prepared along Vancouver's Broadway corridor

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      The strip mall on the southeast corner of Broadway and Oak Street is deserted.

      There used to be a 7-Eleven, a Money Mart, a sushi restaurant, and other shops in this location on Vancouver’s West Side. What’s left of these businesses will soon be gone.

      “We’ll be starting demo[lition] here pretty quick,” Wayne Vickers, development manager of Bosa Properties, told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview. “I’d say December, with excavation in January, February.”

      BlueSky Properties, a Bosa family company, is constructing a 10-storey office and retail building on this spot, which the City of Vancouver has chosen to be the location of one of the stations for a proposed subway line along Broadway.

      According to Vickers, his company and the city have agreed to designate an area in the new building to serve as a connection to an underground transit station. “We got the plan. We have the design for it,” Vickers said.

      According to a city staff report, similar arrangements have been made for two other sites. One is near Arbutus Street at 2080 West Broadway, where the Pinnacle Living on Broadway condo building is located. The other is at 525 West Broadway, the site of Crossroads, a mixed-use residential, commercial, and office building kitty-corner to the Canada Line’s Broadway–City Hall Station.

      A rapid-transit line along Broadway is one of the projects in a 10-year plan for Metro Vancouver released in June 2014 by the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation.

      The $1.9-billion project involves extending the Millennium SkyTrain Line from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street, connecting along the way with the Canada Line at Broadway–City Hall. Two-thirds of its cost would consist of funding from the provincial and federal governments.

      In a referendum this year, Metro Vancouver voters rejected a proposed 0.5-percent increase in the sales tax to help fund major infrastructure projects in the $7.5-billion transportation plan prepared by regional mayors.

      During the federal election campaign, Liberal Leader and now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to work with the province and the city to extend rapid-transit service along Broadway to Arbutus.

      Until the subway is built, Bosa’s BlueSky Properties will use the future subway-connection space for retail.