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More Broadway subway station location speculation—this time Arbutus

April 1, 2019

The three current candidates for an Broadway subway terminus at Arbutus.—Google Street View

While I’m all afire on the subject of of station locations along the line of the soon-to-be-a-digging Broadway subway, I have to disagree with the DailyHive website’s declaration in November of 2018 that the Arbutus Street terminus station entrance will be located at 2097 West Broadway Avenue.

If that is the case, why did TransLink pay $16.8 million in May of 2018 to acquire 2096 West Broadway, the longtime location of Fletchers Fabricare, which is on the other side of the street from 2097?

Not that I want to contradict the Hivemeisters.

Not only did the website generously copy, er, echo (in November of 2018), the conclusion and evidence for the location of the Granville station contained in my March 2018 post, back in 2016, I too believed that the City of Vancouver-owned property at 2097 West Broadway was the natural location for the Arbutus terminus of Phase One of the Broadway Subway Project.

A terminal case of speculative fever

My 2016 overview of the intersection of West Broadway Ave. and Arbutus St.

I actually argued for the city-owned 2097 West Broadway (backed as it was by the added bonus of other city-owed property) for the first seven paragraphs of a post in May of 2016, then I related the overwhelming contrary evidence pointing to the existing subway station void already built as part of the Pinnacle Living condo at 2080 West Broadway.

Surprisingly in the 2016 post, while I did exclude the corner gas station property at 2103 West Broadway, on the grounds of the time needed for soil remediation, I did not voice my concern about the Fletchers location—that the land under the buildings could be fouled with over 40 years of toxic dry-cleaning solvents.

But that would not necessarily matter in the case of a station entrance because all that dirt would be dug up and hauled away, would it?

Of course, TransLink may not have purchased 2096 West Broadway to serve as the Arbutus terminus station. It’s quite possible that the regional transportation authority spent the $16.8 million (nearly twice the land’s assessment in 2016) to have an all-important, extra place to park subway line construction equipment.

Or, as one reader suggested: just “in case”, and another: to serve as the bus loop for the 99 B-Line. Click the image to enlarge it.

  1. Nakota Ridge permalink

    WOW Buddy you are an Exceptional Visionary 💖


  2. Sharon Townsend permalink

    I suspect they (City/Translink) were scooping up property ‘in case’ before all the technical work was complete so they could reduce the risk of being held hostage.


  3. Nef10 permalink

    Maybe they want/need the space to serve as bus loop for the 99B when this will be the new terminus stop.


  4. Moolana permalink

    Something is coming. Exactly what is speculation. But I think Skytain. Look at what is happening at Broadway and Granville too.


    • Yes. We all know that SkyTrain is coming in the form of the Broadway subway, slated to begin construction as early as fall of 2019. Of the many questions surrounding the subway project have been the exact locations of the terminus at Arbutus street and the “Granville subway station”. In the latter case, attention has focused on four properties on the eastern end of the 1400 block of West Broadway—two owned by the City of Vancouver and two by TransLink. The apparent emptying of the RBC Bank building at 1489 West Broadway raises the possibility of a corner station, which TransLink would surely prefer.


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