TORONTO’S TRANSIT AGENCY ‘METROLINX’ BELIEVES THERE’S GOLD IN THEM THAR L.R.T. STATIONS

CROSSTOWN1Hard 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.

CROSSTOWN3When 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.

CROSSTOWN6STEVE 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.”

CROSSTOWN5Metrolinx 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.”

CROSSTOWN4

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