RCG Group’s Master Plan Development Strategy
Housing affordability is one of the most challenging and pressing issues facing the City of Richmond, and the entire lower Mainland. RCG is proposing an innovative rental housing solution for Richmond that would provide 210 units of affordable rental housing, which will be reviewed by the City of Richmond’s Planning Committee on Tuesday, June 5.
Through our founder, Harvey Goodwyn’s, pioneering vision and contribution to Richmond’s growth starting back in the mid 60’s, RCG Group owns 10 industrial-zoned properties in the Lansdowne Village precinct in the heart of the City of Richmond (totaling approximately 15.4 acres in area), within walking distance of the Lansdowne Canada Line station, shopping and community services and amenities. As a result of the City Centre Area Plan adoption by the Mayor and Council in September 2009, this area is currently undergoing a major transition from its existing industrial/commercial use to newly developed medium to high density residential use, predominantly strata residential buildings.
RCG Group has created a master plan development strategy for our ten Lansdowne Village properties in this City Centre of Richmond.
The City Centre Area Plan (CCAP) provides for significant land use changes in the City Centre which affect our Lansdowne Village properties yet offer considerable opportunities for future coordinated redevelopment that can benefit the City of Richmond, current and future residents and RCG Group.
The City has undergone tremendous growth. As a company with deep roots in the 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 Richmond “the most appealing, livable and well-managed community in Canada.”
As a long-standing corporate citizen of Richmond, we share the City’s vision to successfully plan and develop the City Centre neighbourhoods to meet its long-term goals.
Over a decade ago, Richmond City Council approved the “Richmond Affordable Housing Strategy” to ensure Richmond is successful in providing a range of housing options for residents of different ages, family types and incomes. The strategy recognizes that substantial support and cooperation is needed from all levels of government, non-profit organizations, Richmond property owners, and the development community to address the affordable housing issue.
RCG Group has applied to rezone its 10 City Centre properties for medium-to-high-density residential development with the maximum density increasing from 2.0 FAR (Floor Area Ratio) to 2.98 FAR to create an overall master plan development and community. The focal point of this application would be the immediate construction and delivery of a 210-unit rental building including an anticipated: 24 subsidized rental units, 98 low-end market rental (LEMR) units, as well as 88 market rental units.
RCG Group would supply the land (leased to the widely respected non-profit society, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. for 60 years at $1.00 per year), construct the building at its sole cost and expense, and – upon completion of construction – transfer ownership of the building to S.U.C.C.E.S.S. to manage and operate. The property upon which the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. rental building sits would then be deeded to the City of Richmond at no cost to the City of Richmond and its residents.
We currently anticipate the affordable units would consist of 10% studios, 30% one-bedroom units, 30% two-bedroom units and 30% three-bedroom units to help ensure a mix of housing for people of all incomes and ages in Richmond, strengthening the community.
Adjacent to the 210-unit residential rental building on Site 3, RCG plans to construct, as part of Phase 1, a 168-unit Seniors Retirement Living Community facility on Site 4. The state-of-the-art seniors’ facility includes a 26-unit dedicated memory care floor to help address critical issues of community support for advanced Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
In the mid-long term, the remaining properties would most likely be redeveloped with residential towers and townhomes, either market condominiums or market rental, to be determined by prevailing market conditions at the time of redevelopment. Some of the 10 sites are available for immediate redevelopment and others are subject to commercial lease agreements and therefore will potentially not be redeveloped for 10 to 25 years.
Business remains a key driver and contributor to growth in the City of Richmond. RCG Group’s continuity and operational success, in turn, allows us to continue making significant contributions to the community of Richmond. Keeping that focus allows us to take this unique approach.
RCG has a long history of operating in the City of Richmond – we are committed to giving back to the community in which we operate – and want this innovative affordable housing initiative to be part of our legacy to the City of Richmond, and in turn, contributing to Richmond’s legacy to urban development best practices, and diversifying its downtown core.