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Proposed Sea Island luxury outlet mall to move next to Canada Line

A new premium designer outlet mall won't be built on Russ Baker Way after all.

And the City of Richmond couldn't be happier.

On Tuesday, the Vancouver International Airport Authority announced that following feasibility testing at the Canada Line Templeton Station and at the Russ Baker Way sites, the developer, McArthurGlen, and the airport authority opted for the former.

"The Airport Authority and McArthurGlen have selected the Templeton site as the preferred location for the Designer Outlet Centre," airport authority spokesperson Alana Lawrence said. "Results from the feasibility testing at the site near the Canada Line Templeton Station and at the Russ Baker Way site on Sea Island, along with feedback from our communities, results in the change in location."

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said it speaks well of the airport authority that it was willing to re-consider its plans, though not finalized, but well along the process.

"We recently heard that that was coming," Brodie said of the announcement. "I think that from the city's point of view, it's vastly superior to have retail which is in the proximity to the Canada Line is a very good thing."

Brodie said he believes the new site's link to transit will improve its chances of success.

"We're appreciative of the fact that they reconsidered their original option."

The relationship between Richmond city council and the Vancouver International Airport Authority has been frosty in recent years.

The airport authority opposed the city's plans to place high density residential development near the airport—namely around the Richmond Olympic Oval, and at Aberdeen Centre which is under the flight path—while the city opposed plans years ago for a maintenance hangar directly beside Burkeville, as well as the placement of a premium outlet along a busy roadway already congested by rush hour traffic and a long ways from the $300 million section of the Canada Line.

"I'm hopeful that this signals an improvement in the future communication between the parties," Brodie said

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