Region of Waterloo spends $6 million on future transit hub in Kitchener
Big Kitchener Waterloo land assembly news made public this morning – the Region of Waterloo has bought a number of contigious buildings along Victoria Street between King & Duke to serve as a development site for a Central Transit Hub.
The Region paid about $2 million per acre to buy 16 Victoria Street North (End of the Roll), 50 & 60 Victoria Street North (Rumpel Felt factory), and 510 King Street West (small grocery store). The parcel of land that the Beer Store sits on has not yet been acquired, but is on the Region’s wish list.
The assembled land package is right across from the Kaufman Lofts & the new Medical/Pharmacy School.
Jeff Outhit from The Record writes in this morning’s paper:
Regional council secretly spent almost $6 million to buy most of two blocks, to build a central transit hub in downtown Kitchener.
The facility will front on Victoria Street North, between King and Duke streets across from the Kaufman lofts.
The long-proposed plan, always targeted for King and Victoria streets, could bring together GO Transit commuter trains and buses, Via Rail passenger trains, Grand River Transit buses, Greyhound and other intercity buses, and rapid transit if ultimately approved.
Seiling does not believe council acted prematurely. Politicians started buying land a year before they proposed a contested rail transit system in Kitchener and Waterloo.
That proposal, costing up to $800 million, is still without final approval and was widely panned in the recent municipal election. But Seiling contends a central transit hub makes sense with or without rapid transit. “It’s pretty exciting,” he said.
GO Transit is launching two commuter trains a day late next year, from Kitchener to Toronto in the morning and then back to Kitchener in the early evening.
The site for the central transit hub is about three acres, with 240 metres of frontage along the CN Railway tracks. A regional report states: “The assemblage has strong appeal for attracting large developers interested in partnering with the region in future redevelopment of the site.”
This is a strategic location for a transit hub. It lies on King Street, the main street running North South in Kitchener Waterloo. Nearby along this line are The Bauer Lofts, 144 Park, Kaufman Lofts, the Breithaupt Block, the Tannery, City Centre by Andrin, as well as smaller retail and residential development.
Reaction to this announcement has been positive. Most are excited to see a prominent corner of downtown Kitchener cleaned up, and have the transit options in the region expanding.
What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment below !