Hard to believe, but TORONTO has never even thought of doing this before. Always looking for money, and in the middle of building a 19 km, largely underground LRT line, METROLINX is stepping tentatively into the real estate business.
When the $5.3-billion Eglinton Crosstown is finished, it will pass through 25 stations end-to-end. Following in the wake of transit systems in Europe and East Asia, the Agency wants to ensure its stations are parts of mixed-used buildings wherever possible. Beginning with 4 sites, a request for development proposals will go out this week, and winning bids will be chosen in May.
STEVE FRY of Pacific Links: “Finally, this is so overdue for TORONTO. In this part of the world, our rapid-transit cost calculations are always wrong because we never consider net costs; we never account for the money we should make off properties we have to buy to build subways. “If they get it right it’s a great first step . . . it should transform thinking around here, where we usually build wasteful stand-alone stations.”Metrolinx spokeswoman ANNE MARIE AIKINS: “It’s the first example of achieving land-value capture in the Greater TORONTO and Hamilton Area for transit, and it will inform future engagement between Metrolinx and developers.”