There are friends of mine in Richmond who do not know about the redevelopment of Richmond Centre South. Some have heard about the project but do not know the details.
I would like to briefly summarize the project and the comments I provided to our city, so Richmond residents can be aware of what will happen and the issues we have to face.
Basically, the Sears building and its multi-level parkade will be demolished, and most of the parking area in Richmond Centre will be replaced by 12 high-rise buildings with a total of 2,000 dwellings. There will be a two-level underground parking. The project will start in spring 2019 and is estimated to be completed in late 2026.
Here are some of the comments I have expressed to the City of Richmond:
The biggest issue it will have is the underground parking. Richmond is made of silt and sand, and is never allowed to have basements and underground parking.
Even with technology change, it doesn’t mean underground parking is safe in Richmond now.
During heavy rain, there is a high chance of flooding in the underground parkade. Also in the long term, the underground parking will likely subside, which will be very dangerous to this whole area, including both Richmond Centre and the surrounding 2,000 dwellings.
I still remember the allowance of using California stucco by our government causing many leaky condos, one of the worst building crises. I hope this government won’t make a similar mistake.
Also 2,000 dwellings in 12 buildings is too crowded in Richmond Centre South.
It will cause other problems such as heavy traffic, public safety concerns, inadequate public transit and a shortage of medical services such as clinics, family doctors and hospital staff.
More funding may be provided by Vancouver Coastal Health, but it can only improve facilities, not the number of family doctors or hospital staff.
Like many residents in Richmond, I would love to see more small family-owned business stores on the streets rather than just high rises and luxury or franchise stores.
We are all in doubt if many of the existing new condos are occupied or if many were purchased by investors only.
We hope the new houses are affordable and can benefit the locals, as we are the ones residing in Richmond.