Future additional entrance for Oakridge-41st Avenue Station to be created through development

Jan 20 2021, 4:49 pm

Public speakers during Tuesday’s public hearing on rezoning applications in the area of the intersection of Oakridge-41st Avenue Station brought attention to the need for an additional entrance from the street into the Canada Line station.

The existing entrance building into the station is located at the southwest corner on the plaza into Oakridge Centre, but there are calls for an additional entrance at another corner at the intersection to improve accessibility and in-station capacity. Currently, the station entrance from the street features a staircase, an up-only escalator, and an elevator.

The Cambie Corridor Plan calls for high-density development in the regionally and municipally designated Oakridge Town Centre, with towers on the city blocks radiating from the intersection of Cambie Street and West 41st Avenue.

oakridge municipal town centre

General concept for Oakridge Municipal Town Centre. (City of Vancouver)

Future tower development in the area and the scale of the residential, retail, and office density within Oakridge Centre shopping mall — coupled with other growth along the Cambie Corridor, rising ridership on the R4 RapidBus on 41st Avenue, and the opening of the Millennium Line Broadway Extension’s interchange with the Canada Line at Broadway-City Hall Station — are expected to fuel significant ridership growth at Oakridge-41st Avenue Station.

“It’s not just about faster trains or more trains or longer platforms, the biggest issue is ingress and egress of the stations,” Tracey Moir with the Oakridge Langara Area Residents told city council.

“We think we need entrances on all four corners, but at least two is better than one… You need more holes in the ground to get people in and out. At some point, it becomes a safety issue, there’s too many people there.”

QuadReal Property Group, the owners of Oakridge Centre, are working with TransLink to provide the existing station entrance with an aesthetic and capacity upgrade as part of the mall redevelopment’s project scope. This includes a new unique roof for the station entrance building, and additional escalators for improved circulation capacity within the station.

Last fall, the property owner revealed their concept to provide the station with a second entrance — an underground retail corridor from the mall that leads directly to the ticketing concourse level at the bottom of the staircase and escalator. This new connection is in addition to the upgrades to the existing street entrance.

oakridge centre

October 2020 artistic rendering of the revision to the Oakridge Centre redevelopment, depicting changes to the existing Oakridge-41st Avenue Station entrance building with a new protective roof structure and additional escalators. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Westbank/QuadReal Property Group)

oakridge centre

October 2020 artistic rendering of the revision to the Oakridge Centre redevelopment, depicting changes to the existing Oakridge-41st Avenue Station entrance building with a new protective roof structure and additional escalators. A new underground station entrance between the mall and ticketing concourse is also shown. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Westbank/QuadReal Property Group)

After being inquired by city councillors on the matter, city staff confirmed to city council the Canada Line station was designed for an additional secondary street entrance from the northwest corner of the intersection.

This corner is currently occupied by a 1962-built, three-storey office building, on a 31,000 sq. ft. lot, with the ground floor’s most prominent tenant being TD Bank. The property’s latest assessed value is $88.9 million.

“Staff anticipate that any future development that would come forward at the northwest corner would be required to provide a secondary entrance to the Canada Line station,” said a city planner.

“At this point in time, until staff receive a future rezoning application for Area A, that’s when those discussions will take place to secure a second entrance.”

City staff were unable to comment on the level of market density required for the site to support a future developer’s high costs of allocating space for the entrance and funding the underground passageway’s construction. In general practice, greater densities — often achieved through taller height — are necessary to support additional public benefits such as community amenity contributions.

Under the Cambie Corridor Plan, this corner site is designated for the town centre’s second highest tower outside of the mall property, reaching up to 305 ft with about 31 storeys, including retail and restaurant uses on the ground level, three levels of office, and the remaining tower as residential.

At this time, there are no known proposals to redevelop this property.

cambie street 41st avenue cambie corridor plan

Prescribed tower forms for the northwest corner of the intersection of Cambie Street and West 41st Avenue in the Cambie Corridor Plan. (City of Vancouver)

cambie street 41st avenue cambie corridor plan

Prescribed tower forms for the intersection of Cambie Street and West 41st Avenue in the Cambie Corridor Plan. The potential secondary street entrance into Oakridge-41st Avenue Station from the northwest corner is depicted in the base of the tower in the rendering. (City of Vancouver)

In 2019, Oakridge-41st Avenue Station ranked as the 23rd busiest SkyTrain station, with an average of 8,460 boardings per weekday. Ridership dropped slightly compared to the previous year, likely due to the winding down of the shops at Oakridge Centre ahead of major construction activities.

Elsewhere on the transit network, the vast majority of SkyTrain stations have just one entrance, and this is also the approach for the six new subway stations planned for the Broadway Extension, including the new interchange hub at Broadway-City Hall Station.

The provincial government’s Millennium Line plans for Broadway-City Hall Station depends on the same entrance building built for the Canada Line, without any expansion of the street entrance.

BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure previously told Daily Hive Urbanized they do not anticipate there will be an immediate need for a secondary entrance in time for the extension’s 2025 opening. With the subway replacing the 99 B-Line, most of the activity at the station will happen underground where passengers will use new passageways to transfer between the Millennium Line and Canada Line. However, the station is designed to support the future construction of a secondary street entrance that reaches the Millennium Line’s mezzanine level.

SkyTrain Millennium Line Broadway Extension Subway Broadway-City Hall Station

October 2019 preliminary conceptual cross-section artistic rendering of Broadway-City Hall Station’s interchange between the Millennium Line and existing Canada Line. (Government of BC)

SkyTrain Broadway Subway Broadway Extension Broadway-City Hall Station

November 2020 conceptual design of changes at Broadway-City Hall Station for the Millennium Line Broadway Extension. (Government of BC)

 

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