Talks between the City of Vancouver and CP Rail about the future of the Arbutus railway corridor have broken down.
At a press conference near the corridor in Kitsilano today (September 12), Mayor Gregor Robertson accused CP of being "inflexible" and walking away from the negotiating table.
"Very, very disappointed to see CP being absolutely inflexible and refusing to make a fair deal on this important corridor for Vancouver," he said.
"We will not be bullied into overpaying for the Arbutus corridor. This is an important piece of land for the city, but at the same time, I will be fighting to protect Vancouver's and our taxpayers' interests here in ensuring that we don't overpay for the Arbutus corridor and ensure that there is an appropriate negotiation."
Robertson said that at this point, "the talks are off", but that the city remains open to bringing something back to the table.
"We put plenty of ideas on the table, but there was absolutely no movement toward those ideas," he said.
CP Rail said in a statement on its website that: "despite exploring a number of options to reach a fair market settlement, the parties were unable to arrive at an agreement".
"CP halted all work on the corridor when it agreed to meet the City of Vancouver to negotiate a resolution," the statement continued. "However, after meeting today with senior City representatives, CP remains extremely disappointed that the City of Vancouver continues to significantly undervalue this corridor."
Robertson said CP Rail's asking price is in the range of $100 million, which is based on development value being added to the land.
"The current zoning is that it is a transportation corridor, and the long-term interests of the city are obviously to maintain it as a transportation corridor and to see it used as a greenway in the meantime," he said.
CP says it plans to resume work on the corridor to return the track to operating standards.
Last month, the company tore up community gardens along the railway corridor in Marpole as it worked to clear encroachments from the track.