Commercial-Broadway Hub Sells for Millions Over the Assessed Value – Is This a Glimpse of TransLink’s New Grandview?

2460 Commercial Drive (The Hub)
With it’s key location in our region’s transit system, the area at the Commercial-Broadway station is destined to become even more active as our region continues to thrive. While TransLink has been upgrading the stations to handle the increased embrace of mass-transit, the new(ish) Evergreen Expansion, and the future Broadway Expansion, the nearby, low density “Hub” buildings grow more out of place every day. Even in 1989, before the Millennium Line was constructed, it was recognized that this site would need to serve a better purpose. Unfortunately, some in the community strongly disagreed, and proposals for two buildings (18 floors of residential use and 8 floors of office space) were ultimately shelved.

1989 Proposal1989 commbway_tower.jpg-Source

Obviously that trend wasn’t going to last forever, and in 2005 very modest plans resurfaced to transform this area into a “Transit Village.” In 2013 this came one step closer to reality, as the Grandview Woodland Plan envisioned moderate changes to the area, including residential use at the Safeway, and office buildings of up to 10 floors at the Hub. Last year, Westbank embraced that vision with the announcement they would be transforming the Safeway site into a new development that would see new housing, an on-site elevated plaza and, in keeping with the 2005 vision, a new off site plaza as well. Since the open house, there hasn’t been any news on that proposal, though we’ve recently heard whispers it’s undergone a major redesign that should please many in the neighbourhood.

GW Plan.JPG-Source

Still, with the many transit orientated developments being built throughout Metro Vancouver, it wasn’t surprising to hear that several groups were interested in acquiring the Hub when the owners (5 local investors) decided to put this site up for sale last year. What did surprise us is that no one seems to have noticed that the site was listed as sold in May of this year for 20 million dollars over the assessed value.

While there’s plenty of groups that could have afforded the roughly 37 million dollar price-tag, it’s our understanding that TransLink has decided to not only run trains through the area, but also invest in the property too. This would fit with recent comments at the Townhall for the Millennium Line Expansion, were a representative of TransLink indicated that the transit authority now understood the need to incorporate their stations into larger developments, rather than sitting unconnected and underutilized. While we assume this means the station will see even more construction, we can’t help but wonder how this impacts Westbank’s plan for their neighbouring off-site plaza space.

Broadway Commercial Google.jpg

That said, we don’t think it matters to most how that new public space is delivered, so long as the amount required under the area plan is actually built in the community. Combine that with more job space, and this location could finally start living up to its full potential. However, as there has been no official announcement, we can’t confirm that TransLink is the new owner. While we debated about emailing TransLink to enquire about the property, as members of the public, we weren’t sure which representative to reach out to, and we doubt we would have got an answer anyways.

Still the property has obviously been sold, and there are plenty of reason to think TransLink is the new owner. The bigger questions are whether the price paid makes sense and, more importantly, how long will it be until the public can reap the rewards of more play space and, for some, a shorter commute to work.

2 thoughts on “Commercial-Broadway Hub Sells for Millions Over the Assessed Value – Is This a Glimpse of TransLink’s New Grandview?

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  1. This would gain some credibility if there was some source that could be checked, but the language ios also deliberately vague

    “it’s our understanding that TransLink has decided to not only run trains through the area, but also invest in the property too”

    TransLink has always bought and sold property … for its operations it has to.

    “there are plenty of reason to think TransLink is the new owner. ” but you cite none of them. Did you ask Translink?

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    1. I’m sorry you feel our article lacks credibility, though we’re unsure if your sharp tone is deliberate, or a miscommunication brought on by the nature of the internet. We do our best to be thoughtful and accurate, but ultimately we’re just a young couple who have no background in the real estate, planning or journalism. We’re simply trying to positively contribute to our city.

      For the sale, date, and price of the property, we source BC Assessment. While we could name and shame people that make outlandish comments, or out a private or public staff member for revealing more than they should, it’s not something we choose to do. In all of our posts, we try and respect the privacy of those we overhear or speak with at these public events/meetings.

      We never disputed the fact that TransLink owns, and needs to own property. We believe there are several common sense reasons for TransLink to own this site as well. We also cite a recent meetings where a TransLink representative acknowledged the need to better integrate their transit stations into new developments.

      As we noted, we simply didn’t know who to contact at TransLink about this; it is an unusual question after all. Our hope was that TransLink would either respond to our tweet, or that a professional journalist could follow up on the matter. Thanks for your comment and hopefully that answers your questions. 🙂

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