Construction on Canada Line's new Capstan Station could begin in a year

Oct 8 2019, 12:47 pm

A planned additional new SkyTrain station for the Canada Line in Richmond could be completed years ahead of schedule.

During an Urban Development Institute seminar this morning, TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said the public transit authority is now in the process of finalizing the specifics of Capstan Station — an additional station at the northeast corner of No. 3 Road and Capstan Way, between Bridgeport Station and Aberdeen Station.

He says the station design is currently being finalized with the City of Richmond.

In 2018, TransLink awarded the contract for design work to the Vancouver office of architectural firm Perkins + Will, which designed the existing three Canada Line stations on No. 3 Road and the Evergreen Extension’s Burquitlam Station and Lincoln Station.

“I would hope we can conclude the deal with Richmond by the end of the year,” said Desmond, adding that construction could start in a year or a year in half. “It’s going to support very significant new developments.”

The ViewStar residential development by developer Yuanheng at the northwest corner of Capstan Way Station and No. 3 Road. (Yuanheng)

Capstan Station Canada Line

Approximate location of the Canada Line’s new Capstan Station on No. 3 Road in Richmond. (Google Maps)

The City of Richmond is funding the entirety of the station’s construction cost.

The municipal government told Daily Hive this past spring that it had successfully raised $32 million in funding for the station from developers.

This amount is from both the development levy of each new condominium unit built around the Capstan Village area and the accrued revenue from interest from strategically investing the raised funds since 2012, when the city first struck a deal with area developers to allow extra density in exchange for their commitments.

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. Concord is the developer for the site immediately adjacent to the station.

The city originally had a 15-year timeline for fundraising and constructing the station, with completion by 2027.

But the city’s ability to raise the funding far more quickly than initially anticipated has sped up the project’s implementation timeline.

Desmond highlighted Richmond’s partnership with developers to fund Capstan Station is a “good example” of how SkyTrain infrastructure can be financed.

“We’ve got to find different and creative ways to finance our major rapid transit expansions,” he said. “We can’t just do this on TransLink taxpayer-supported dollars.”

Residential developments around Capstan Way Station. (Anton Lukashov / Capstan Village Study)

He also brought up the future additional Canada Line subway stations on 33rd Avenue and 57th Avenue on Cambie Street in Vancouver, saying “those remain possibilities” but partnerships with the major developers in the area are likely required.

With the Evergreen Extension, as an additional component to the finalized design of the project, the City of Coquitlam sought to construct Lincoln Station to serve the core of its emerging town centre by engaging in partnerships. The owner of Coquitlam Centre shopping mall contributed both land and funding for the station, and the federal government also provided $7 million.

“Coquitlam understood that if they densified enough around the station, they could get the money to develop a station there,” said Desmond.