New renderings of TransLink's proposed 30-storey rental housing tower at SkyTrain's future Arbutus Station

May 17 2023, 7:35 pm

The preliminary conceptual design and details of the sizeable transit-oriented development proposal for SkyTrain’s future Arbutus Station were released today for the start of initial public consultation.

As announced earlier this year, this will be TransLink’s first project under its new for-profit real estate division, which will create a new ancillary revenue stream to help fund new and improved public transit services.

This project will be achieved as a 50-50 partnership with local developer PCI Developments, which has a history of building some of the region’s most successful transit-oriented developments, including Marine Gateway (SkyTrain Marine Drive Station) and Crossroads (SkyTrain Broadway-City Hall Station). PCI is currently constructing a mixed-use retail, office, and rental housing tower above SkyTrain’s future South Granville Station entrance.

This Arbutus-Broadway tower project site spans a narrow city block at 2096 West Broadway and 2560 Arbutus Street — the southeast corner of the intersection of West Broadway and Arbutus. The future SkyTrain Arbutus Station entrance building and 99 B-Line bus exchange will be located at the northeast corner.

Designed by local design firm MCMP Architects, the mixed-use redevelopment of the old Fletchers Fabricare and low-storey retail buildings entail a 30-storey tower on the northern half of the block — closest to the transit hub — and an attached six-storey base podium on the southern half of the block fronting West 10th Avenue.

2096 West Broadway 2560 Arbutus Street Vancouver TransLink PCI Developments 1

The combined development site of 2096 West Broadway (northern TransLink parcel) and 2560 Arbutus Street (southern PCI parcel) next to SkyTrain’s future Arbutus Station. (TransLink)

Current condition:

2096 West Broadway 2560 Arbutus Street Vancouver TransLink PCI Developments f

The development site’s northern TransLink parcel at 2096 West Broadway, where Fletchers Fabricare is located. (Google Maps)

Future condition:

2096 West Broadway 2560 Arbutus Street Vancouver TransLink PCI rental tower Arbutus Station SkyTrain

Arbutus Street perspective; Artistic rendering of the rental tower at 2096 West Broadway and 2560 Arbutus Street next to the future SkyTrain Arbutus Station. (MCMP Architects/TransLink/PCI Developments)

Within the upper levels of the tower and podium, there will be a total of 260 secured purpose-built rental homes, including 54 studios, 112 one-bedroom units, 68 two-bedroom units, and 26 three-bedroom units. About 52 units (20% of the residential floor area) will be set aside as below-market rental units, suitable for moderate-income households.

About 6,000 sq ft of retail/restaurant uses will activate the street-level frontages of West Broadway, Arbutus Street, and West 10th Avenue. This includes a 1,500 sq ft cafe space fronting West 10th Avenue as part of the new future home of Ohel Ya’akov Community Kollel — a Jewish community organization currently located a block to the west in a smaller, old space.

Kollel will have a total of 8,700 sq ft of new purpose-built community space in the building, including the cafe and main community space on portions of the ground level and second level of the podium. The main entrance into the community space will be from the Arbutus Greenway, effectively helping to activate the walking and cycling pathway.

Current condition:

2096 West Broadway 2560 Arbutus Street Vancouver TransLink PCI Developments 2

The development site’s southern PCI parcel at 2560 Arbutus Street, where the two-storey retail building is located. (Google Maps)

Future condition:

2096 West Broadway 2560 Arbutus Street Vancouver TransLink PCI rental tower Arbutus Station SkyTrain

Arbutus Street perspective; Artistic rendering of the rental tower at 2096 West Broadway and 2560 Arbutus Street next to the future SkyTrain Arbutus Station. (MCMP Architects/TransLink/PCI Developments)

This project also sets aside space for a future secondary entrance into the subway station, with the potential additional entrance located mid-block on Arbutus Street. Enough space will be preserved for a staircase, escalator, and elevator to establish the underground pathway from street level.

If this secondary entrance is built, it will provide a more convenient and accessible way for transit riders to reach the station — without having to cross Broadway — while also providing more capacity. In addition to setting aside ground-level space for the secondary entrance, it is presumed the proposal also preserves underground space leading towards Arbutus Station’s underground concourse level.

2096 West Broadway 2560 Arbutus Street Vancouver TransLink PCI rental tower Arbutus Station SkyTrain

Location of the potential secondary entrance into SkyTrain Arbutus Station; Artistic rendering of the rental tower at 2096 West Broadway and 2560 Arbutus Street next to the future SkyTrain Arbutus Station. (MCMP Architects/TransLink/PCI Developments)

2096 West Broadway 2560 Arbutus Street Vancouver TransLink PCI rental tower Arbutus Station SkyTrain

Arbutus Street perspective, showing the public plaza and potential secondary entrance into SkyTrain Arbutus Station; Artistic rendering of the rental tower at 2096 West Broadway and 2560 Arbutus Street next to the future SkyTrain Arbutus Station. (MCMP Architects/TransLink/PCI Developments)

2096 West Broadway 2560 Arbutus Street Vancouver TransLink PCI rental tower Arbutus Station SkyTrain

Ground floor plan of the rental tower at 2096 West Broadway and 2560 Arbutus Street, showing retail/restaurant units and spaces for the potential future secondary entrance into SkyTrain Arbutus Station and new home of Ohel Ya’akov Community Kollel. (MCMP Architects/TransLink/PCI Developments)

arbutus station broadway subway

Cross-section of Arbutus Station on the SkyTrain Millennium Line Broadway Extension (Broadway Subway). (Government of BC)

arbutus station broadway subway

Cross-section of Arbutus Station on the SkyTrain Millennium Line Broadway Extension (Broadway Subway). (Government of BC)

arbutus station broadway subway

Artistic rendering of the underground concourse level of Arbutus Station on the SkyTrain Millennium Line Broadway Extension (Broadway Subway). (Government of BC)

As well, a public plaza will be established at the north end of the block to improve pedestrian connections across West Broadway to reach the main station entrance building. The subway construction project will re-establish the Arbutus Greenway’s traffic signal-controlled mid-block pedestrian and cycling crossing across West Broadway.

As this is a highly transit-oriented development, only 67 vehicle parking stalls will be provided, with the entrance into the underground parking located mid-block on Arbutus Street. Over 500 bike parking spaces will also be provided.

Current condition:

Arbutus Greenway 10th Avenue

Site of 2096 West Broadway and 2560 Arbutus Street from the Arbutus Greenway. (Google Maps)

Future condition:

2096 West Broadway 2560 Arbutus Street Vancouver TransLink PCI rental tower Arbutus Station SkyTrain

Arbutus Greenway perspective; Artistic rendering of the rental tower at 2096 West Broadway and 2560 Arbutus Street next to the future SkyTrain Arbutus Station. (MCMP Architects/TransLink/PCI Developments)

2096 West Broadway 2560 Arbutus Street Vancouver TransLink PCI rental tower Arbutus Station SkyTrain

Arbutus Greenway perspective; Artistic rendering of the rental tower at 2096 West Broadway and 2560 Arbutus Street next to the future SkyTrain Arbutus Station. (MCMP Architects/TransLink/PCI Developments)

2096 West Broadway 2560 Arbutus Street Vancouver TransLink PCI rental tower Arbutus Station SkyTrain

Arbutus Greenway perspective; Artistic rendering of the rental tower at 2096 West Broadway and 2560 Arbutus Street next to the future SkyTrain Arbutus Station. (MCMP Architects/TransLink/PCI Developments)

The proposed total floor area is approximately 232,000 sq ft, establishing a floor area ratio density of a floor area that is 11.4 times larger than the size of the land assembly.

The proposed height, density, and uses align with the City of Vancouver’s Broadway Plan prescriptions for this particular site.

As part of the pre-application public consultation, an online survey is open now through May 23, 2023. Early feedback will be used to prepare the formal rezoning application, which will be submitted later this spring or summer.

Following a further round of formal public consultation, the rezoning application could reach public hearing for a decision by Vancouver City Council in Spring 2024. Following the approval of the subsequent development permit application, it would take about three years to build the project.

Arbutus Station will open in early 2026 as part of SkyTrain Millennium Line’s 6 km long Broadway Extension. Upon opening, it will immediately become one of the region’s busiest SkyTrain stations, serving as a major interchange to the truncated 99 B-Line route for the remaining journey to the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus. A future westward Millennium Line extension from Arbutus Station to UBC could be built in the 2030s.

arbutus station skytrain broadway extension

SkyTrain Arbutus Station design concept, April 2021. (Government of BC)

arbutus station skytrain broadway extension

SkyTrain Arbutus Station design concept, April 2021. (Government of BC)

arbutus station skytrain broadway extension

SkyTrain Arbutus Station design concept, April 2021. (Government of BC)

arbutus station skytrain broadway extension

SkyTrain Arbutus Station design concept, April 2021. (Government of BC)

arbutus station broadway subway

Arbutus Station on the SkyTrain Millennium Line Broadway Extension (Broadway Subway). (Government of BC)

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