City of Richmond approves massive CF Richmond Centre redevelopment

May 30 2019, 9:50 pm

It is officially a go-ahead for Richmond’s single largest redevelopment project to date — the redevelopment of CF Richmond Centre, one of a growing number of massive redevelopment projects next to SkyTrain stations.

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The City of Richmond’s development permit panel approved the project on Wednesday, and the start of major construction is now expected to begin soon, with the new additions to the shopping centre property built over two phases for full completion by 2026.

The western side of the redevelopment along Minoru Boulevard will reach completion in 2021-22, while the eastern side along No. 3 Road will reach completion a few years afterwards.

Site preparation ahead of the construction start is already underway for some of the development sites. No rezoning was required as the proposal fits within existing zoning.

Before

CF Richmond Centre

Aerial view of the indoor mall at CF Richmond Centre. (Google Maps)

After

CF Richmond Centre

Exterior layout of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

Nearly 2,300 homes, including 141 affordable homes

Mall owner Cadillac Fairview partnered with local developer SHAPE and GBL Architects to undergo the comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment on 27 acres.

It will replace the former Sears building, the existing multi-storey parkade, and ground-level parking lots to create a multi-building, horseshoe-shaped redeveloped around the existing indoor mall building, which will remain.

There will be 12 new mid-rise buildings reaching a height no greater than 14 storeys or 148 ft, with retail space located within the lower floors, and residential space within the upper floors.

CF Richmond Centre

Form and heights of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

Altogether, the project will create 2.27 million sq. ft. of new floor area, including 1.91 million sq. ft. of residential space and 362,000 sq. ft. of new retail and restaurant space, producing a net gain of about 70,000 sq. ft. of commercial space.

The residential component translates to 2,297 homes, entailing 1,956 market ownership units, 200 market rental units, and 141 affordable rental units, with affordable monthly rates ranging from up to $811 for a studio unit and $1,480 for a three-bedroom unit.

Moreover, half of the total number of homes will be sized for larger families, with units outfitted with two and three bedrooms.

Residents will have access to communal amenity facilities, including 25,000 sq. ft. of indoor spaces and 74,000 sq. ft. of outdoor spaces.

Much of the additional and replacement commercial space will be oriented as street front businesses, similar to the outdoor retail portions of Park Royal.

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

An extensive pedestrian-oriented public realm — including an extension of the street grid onto mall property — is also planned to activate the spaces between the existing and new buildings. A large 0.5-acre public plaza that can host events and activities will also be built on the southwest quadrant of the mall property.

First of its kind for Richmond: the Mobility Hub concept

Two levels of underground parking spanning much of the site footprint will be constructed on the site, creating close to 3,900 vehicle parking stalls for both the shopping centre — replacing the lost ground-level parking stalls — and the new residents.

But to further support the immense influx of new residential and commercial density, so-called Mobility Hubs are being introduced to help lower the level of private vehicle use.

“Mobility Hubs are a new concept, we are introducing to encourage alternative forms of transportation. This supports our Official Community Plan objective to encourage significant shifts in the modes of transportation used by residents,” Ted Townsend, a spokesperson with the City of Richmond, told Daily Hive.

“The Richmond Centre development is the first Mobility Hub in Richmond, and we believe it is the first comprehensive mobility hub in the region.”

CF Richmond Centre

Location of the Mobility Hubs within the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

Diagram showing the two new levels of underground parking across much of the CF Richmond Centre site. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

Two of these multi-modal hubs will be introduced to the site, with one hub located close to Richmond-Brighouse Station and a second hub within the southwest quadrant of the mall, next to the plaza.

Each hub includes features such as bike share, car share, taxi and ride-hailing spaces, secure bike storage for the public and repair services, electric vehicle charging stations, and weather-protected public transit bus stops.

There may also be additional public amenities such as shops, free WiFi, wayfinding information, and public washrooms.

Townsend noted that the city is exploring the possibility of including Mobility Hubs into the much larger Lansdowne Centre redevelopment.

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

Improved access to SkyTrain, and free transit passes

As another measure to lower car use, the developer has agreed to drastically improve pedestrian connections to Richmond-Brighouse Station, specifically having the existing mall galleria remain open during SkyTrain’s operating hours to create “more permeability” between the station, mall, and new residences.

Additionally, the station connection will be enhanced by the construction of a wide continuous canopy to create full weather protection for the pedestrian path between the galleria and the No. 3 Road crosswalk leading to the station and future bus loop.

CF Richmond Centre

New street grid and improved pedestrian connections to SkyTrain as part of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

Before and after the redevelopment of CF Richmond Centre, showing the new pedestrian connections to improve transit access. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

Numerous other incentives to encourage people to leave their cars parked have been committed by the developer, such as two-zone transit passes for one year to 25% of market housing residents, two-zone transit passes for two years for 100% of affordable housing residents, and $50,000 worth of two-zone transit passes for commercial tenants, employees, and customers.

And the incentives go beyond public transit to include $30,000 worth of one-year bike share memberships and $20,000 worth of car share memberships for affordable housing residents.

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

“Providing incentives for more sustainable transportation is a win-win for the City, future home buyers and the region. SHAPE’s other projects, including The Amazing Brentwood and The City of Lougheed, are also complete communities on rapid transit where taking SkyTrain and other forms of transportation will be encouraged,” said Michelle Paquet, vice-president of development for Shape Living.

“This is the direction Metro Vancouver is moving in and we’re excited to be on the forefront of this shift.”

This aligns with the municipal government’s goal of reducing the share of car trips to below 50% by 2041 — down from 82% in 2008. Car dependence needs to be lowered with the amount of new density that is expected to be built in North Richmond along the No. 3 Road corridor over the coming decades.

But there has been some headway: since the Canada Line opened a decade ago, transit ridership in Richmond saw an uptick of 7% and car trips fell by 8%.

“A number of other past developments in Richmond and elsewhere have incorporated a variety of traffic demand management features,” said Townsend.

“Provision of transit passes has become a popular traffic demand measure so that in itself is not unique to the Richmond Centre development… we believe this will become the most comprehensive mix of these types of services to be offered in a single location in the region.”

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

CF Richmond Centre

May 2019 artistic rendering of the CF Richmond Centre redevelopment. (GBL Architects / Cadillac Fairview / SHAPE)

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