Richmond successfully raises $32 million to build Canada Line's new Capstan Station
The City of Richmond has reached and exceeded its original goal of raising the required funding to build Capstan Station on SkyTrain’s Canada Line.
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This new additional station — located near the northeast corner of the intersection of No. 3 Road and Capstan Way, roughly mid-way between Bridgeport Station and Aberdeen Station — is intended to help serve the growing transportation needs of the new dense residential developments being built in and around the area deemed by the municipal government as Capstan Village.
The original funding target to cover the entirety of the station’s estimated construction cost was $27.79 million (adjusted for inflation), and this was reached and exceeded in November 2018 with $28.4 million raised.
But the pool of available funding for Capstan Station has continued to grow; City of Richmond spokesperson Ted Townsend confirmed to Daily Hive the municipal government has, as of this month, raised about $32 million.
This is from both the development levy of each new condominium unit built around the area, as well as the municipal government’s accrued revenue from interest from strategically investing the raised funds.
Assuming the estimated cost of the project has not risen, the funding needed for the station was successfully raised in just six years, far ahead of the original 15-year schedule. In 2012, the municipal government made an agreement with Capstan Village developers to permit extra density in exchange for funding the planned station.
These new developments are expected to house between 13,000 and 16,000 residents upon full completion, plus new jobs from mixed-uses such as new retail, restaurants, and office.
Richmond city council initiated the station design process in November 2017, when it approved the release of $3.5 million in funding to TransLink to start design work, including $1.1 million for preliminary design.
TransLink concluded last year a procurement process seeking architectural firms to bid for the station’s design work, but it has yet to announce the selected firm at this time.
“We are in discussions with TransLink regarding implementation of our agreement in regards to the station,” said Townsend.
Preliminary design elements for the station are not publicly known at this time, but previous city documents indicate the station could be integrated with the adjacent building developments on the ground level — similar to the relationship between the Marine Gateway mixed-use development and Marine Drive Station. An integration with the platform level is not desired.
Concord is the developer for the development site immediately adjacent to the station.
“This design would feature continuous weather protection and a seamless walking surface and appearance of surroundings to enhance passenger convenience, comfort and safety which is strongly supported by all parties,” reads an October 2017 City of Richmond staff report.
“TransLink is very supportive of an integrated design concept at the ground level provided that any necessary additional lands are provided and incremental integration costs are funded by sources other than TransLink. Depending on the final detailed design, it is possible that a ground level integrated station model may incur additional costs versus a standalone station.”
Another city document from 2012 stipulates this new station must use the existing Aberdeen Station and Lansdowne Station as the minimum design quality standard.
There is no updated timeline for the construction of this station, but the initial 15-year fundraising timeline set a target start for 2027.
Extreme challenges with new 57th Avenue Station and 33rd Avenue Station
Capstan Station is just one of four possible additional stations that can be built on the existing route of the Canada Line.
The 2009-completed SkyTrain line was designed, engineered, and built in a way that allows for underground stations to be added on Cambie Street at 33rd Avenue and 57th Avenue.
There have been some discussions to build the 57th Avenue Station with Onni Group as part of its 25-acre Pearson Dogwood redevelopment, with the developer promising to provide $20 million towards the cost of constructing the station.
But there have been some serious doubts over whether the 57th Avenue Station is financially and logistically feasible.