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Richmond condo buyer puzzled at lack of information on Atmosphere development

Atmosphere was supposed to have more than 800 housing units, but its construction has been stalled for a year.
The permits to build the foundation and parking for Atmosphere were cancelled by the City of Richmond in September.

No calls or emails have been returned to a pre-sale buyer of a yet-to-be-built condo at the stalled Atmosphere development in Richmond City Centre.

The project on No. 3 Road has been on hold for almost a year – its building permit from the City of Richmond expired already last September after six months of inactivity.

Simon Zheng is wondering what’s happening with the development where he has purchased an 800-square-foot unit in 2019. Despite trying to contact the developer via his realtor and other phone numbers and emails, he has heard nothing.

The City of Richmond confirmed a new building permit hasn’t been issued to continue construction. The one that expired in September was for the foundation and underground parking.

Atmosphere, located on No. 3 Road across the street from Lansdowne Shopping Centre, is currently just a large hole, spanning a couple city blocks.

Zheng put a down payment of about $120,000 on a two-bedroom unit in the project in 2019, hoping it would provide a home for his parents who plan to move to the Lower Mainland from China.

 “Every time I drive by that site, that’s like my money in that hole,” Zheng said.

He said he looked carefully at the project before buying it and it seemed like they were “pretty sound,” he told the Richmond News.

The central location of Atmosphere with shops and services nearby was the ideal location for his parents who don’t drive, Zheng said, and the unit has a second bedroom that could be used by his in-laws when they’re visiting.

Atmosphere is owned by Alderbridge Way Limited Partnership and the project manager is South Street.

The development plan 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. 

Judy Tang, a realtor who represents another Atmosphere condo buyer, said she also hasn’t heard anything from the developer in a year.

She added that she and the buyer have no idea what's going on with this project and they are desperate to find out from the developer what its current status is and whether they should move forward with the project or if they should get the deposit back.

Tang said she has been visiting the Atmosphere site every week to see the latest construction status, but there aren't any obvious construction going on. 

- With files from Nono Shen