Skip to content

Atmosphere has 'paused' its construction in Richmond's city centre

A mixed residential/office development - with more than 800 residential units - has been put on hold temporarily
Joshua Zhang wonders when his condo at the Atmosphere development will be available for move-in.

Richmondite Joshua Zhang wants to know what’s going on with his $250,000 pre-sale investment for a three-bedroom condo in the Atmosphere development on No. 3 Road. 

But phone calls to the developer, South Street, by his realtor haven’t yielded any information and the project seems to have ground to a halt. 

In fact, the builder, Noble Construction, confirmed to the Richmond News the Atmosphere project is “purposely paused” because of financial issues and the COVID-19 pandemic, but the site is being maintained full-time.

The construction company was hesitant to talk further and directed the News to the developer. But after several phone calls and emails to South Street, the News still hasn’t heard back.

Despite the lack of activity, building permits have not been cancelled on the project, according to the City of Richmond. 

Building permits, issued by the city, can expire if no work has taken place for more than six months, but a developer can be granted an extension for another six months by the building inspector.  

The development includes an office tower and six residential towers with 824 units of housing, of which 112 will be market rentals and 38 affordable rental units. 

Zhang said this spring he received an email from the developer saying he might not be able to move in until 2024, although, originally, he was told the move-in date would be late 2022. 

“Every day, I drive my car past this construction site and it’s still a big hole there with no obvious construction activities,” Zhang said. “I asked my realtor to ask the developer and marketing firm Magnum for any update, but it’s (like) throwing a stone into the water - we have never heard anything back.” 

Zhang is currently paying $2,000 in rent every month, waiting to get into his condo, which he bought in pre-sales because of its convenient location across from the Canada Line Lansdowne Station. 

Zhang said all he wants now is an answer whether the project is going forward or not and, if not, he wants his deposit back. 

“I am facing uncertainty with no answer,” he added.