It looks like the first phase of the redevelopment of Lansdowne Shopping Centre is finally in the works.
But shovels probably won't be in the ground for another two years.
Vanprop, which owns the 1970s covered mall on 50 acres on No. 3 Road, announced it's partnering with Bosa Properties to build the first section, in the northeast corner.
And they have just submitted their application for the first development phase to the City of Richmond for review with the hopes of having it dealt with by city council in the early fall. They hope to start building in March 2025.
This portion of development consists of three towers of residential and a few retail shops.
There will be 1,075 residential units, including 150 affordable rental units and 150 market rental units.
Vanprop applied for an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment to their property, previously an auto-oriented commercial site, to add 4,000 homes and rebuild its retail offerings.
The OCP process started about 10 years ago, and their proposed changes were approved by city council in March 2021.
In the end, the current shopping centre will be demolished and retail will be offered at street level rather than in an enclosed mall.
While this is dubbed as the first phase of development – out of seven planned phases – the first part only consists of about three-quarters of the first phase development, explained Vanprop CEO Kevin Hoffman.
“It’s a significant amount of development to do at one time,” Hoffman said.
Applying to do just one part of the first phase is also a “timing issue,” he added, as Vanprop doesn’t want to disrupt the current mall operations and its parking capacity.
Vanprop has had the same ownership group since they bought it in 1984.
Hoffman said the vision of the property owners is to revitalize the area, turning it into an “outdoor lifestyle centre,” rather than its current indoor experience.
Benefits to the community will come by way of parkspace, civic plazas and bike lanes, he added.
“We believe this is such an important destination – it’s the heart of Richmond,” Hoffman said.
Vanprop submitted its development application to the city just a few weeks ago, and they are hoping it will hit the planning committee agenda some time in September.
The development will add to the “housing continuum” with affordable housing, market rentals and market condos, Hoffman explained.
Bosa Properties has projects in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Squamish and a few in Richmond.