As of 2013, Richmond is now the fourth most populous city in the Province of British Columbia.
Richmond supports about 100,000 jobs in various areas including services, retailing, tourism, light manufacturing, airport services and aviation, agriculture, fishing, and government. Richmond also is a leading centre in the region for high-technology companies.
In its City Centre Area Plan (CCAP), the City of Richmond proposes a management framework for development that, among other things:
- embodies the concept of healthy urban living;
- provides opportunities for people to live, work, play, and learn in a sustainable, high-amenity environment;
- reduces sprawl and pressure on Richmond's suburban neighbourhoods, industrial areas, and farmland by directing significant growth away from those areas and towards the City Centre; and
- benefits all of Richmond by developing a series of compact and engaging, higher-density, urban villages supportive of a broad range of high-quality amenities, including affordable housing.
As a long-standing corporate citizen, we share the City's vision to successfully plan and develop the City Centre neighbourhoods in order to meet its long term goals.
As a result of Harvey's pioneering vision and contribution to Richmond's growth in the mid 60's, RCG Group now has an extensive portfolio of properties totalling over 32 acres, located within the Oval Village, the Landsdowne Village and the Capstan Village precincts of the City Centre, ranging in land use and building types.
The CCAP provides for significant land use changes that affect this portfolio yet offers considerable opportunities for future coordinated redevelopment efforts.
We have developed an integrated and comprehensive master plan development strategy with the intention that, in the future, RCG Group employs each of its properties in a manner that benefits both the City of Richmond and RCG Group.
One of the most significant and challenging issues facing not only Richmond, but the entire Lower Mainland, is that of affordable housing. Richmond City Council approved the “Richmond Affordable Housing Strategy” on May 28, 2007, the central focus of which is to ensure Richmond is successful in providing a range of housing options for households of different ages, family types and incomes.
The City has adopted a density bonusing approach for residential rezoning applications. In general, such residential development must either contribute cash towards an affordable housing reserve or allocate a certain amount of its developed floor space, based on an established ratio, to affordable housing.
The strategy recognizes that substantial support and cooperation is needed from other levels of government, non-profit organizations and the development community to address the affordable housing issue.
Business remains a key driver and contributor to growth in B.C. and especially in Richmond, and it’s true that we need to continue to run and operate successfully as a business, which in turn allows us to continue making significant contributions to the community of Richmond. Keeping that focus allows us to take a unique approach.
We are proposing an innovative model that will help address the urgent need for affordable housing through the immediate delivery of a substantial number of low-end market rental affordable housing units at one of our City Centre sites.
In partnership with the City, we are developing a plan to provide certainty and a roadmap for affordable housing today, and the certainty around the delivery of affordable housing means that the City has the flexibility, well beyond the current development obligations, to ensure the City’s continued adaptation to the economic growth as anticipated in the City’s CCAP.
RCG’s unique model of affordable housing will help the City address the issue and need for market rental accommodation in Richmond as well.
RCG’s proposal showcases the importance of having long-standing businesses with deep roots in the City of Richmond, making further commitments to support the economic growth and prosperity of the City.
The City has undergone tremendous growth. As a company with deep-seated and entrenched roots in Richmond community, RCG Group is committed to supporting the City over the long term by making significant contributions to help achieve its vision of making the Richmond “the most appealing, livable and well-managed community in Canada.”