Over the past eight weeks, three university teams spent countless hours and many late nights working on their proposal to make the Coquitlam Central Station, a critical transportation hub in the Tri-Cities, a mixed-use, pedestrian friendly space for the community. After much anticipation, the University of British Columbia were named the winners of the first Pacific Northwest Real Estate Challenge held in Canada, beating out the University of Washington and Portland State to take home the coveted Bob Filley Cup.
“Given the short time frame, the judges and everyone involved were very impressed with what the students came up with,” said John Middleton, Vice President at Onni Group and Chair of the Pacific Northwest Real Estate Challenge. “All of the teams put forward innovative and thoughtful proposals, making it very hard to choose a winner.”
Partnering with TransLink, the Challenge launched back in January, garnering media attention from Global News, The Vancouver Sun, The Province, Metro News, and the Tri-City News, among others. For many of the students competing, this was the first time they had ever seen the site or the new Evergreen Line extension.
“We wanted the students to create a place that people want to be, while at the same time be sustainable and financially rewarding,” said Guy Akester, Director of Real Estate Programs and Partnerships at TransLink. “From Impark to the West Coast Express to the bus loop to the Skytrain, this 14 acre site has a lot of variables that the students had to carefully consider.”
Calling the site “Chrono”, UBC’s winning proposal focused on health, fitness, and entertainment. Taking inspiration from Whistler Village, they drafted a plan that would create a pedestrian focused hub that would integrate residential and commercial opportunities without compromising the multiple types of transit who need in and out of the space.
So far, the results of the competition have been featured on The Vancouver Sun, The Province, and 24 Hours, as well as an upcoming interview on Roundhouse Radio. To view more information about the site, watch this video!