Richmond: Developer proposes to build city’s largest commercial venture

Six hotels and a trade and exhibition centre

An artists impression of the proposed Richmond development at Duck Island in Richmond, The development will include six hotels and a exhibition centre



Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie unveiled $4 billion in development projects Tuesday that will add density to the

city centre and transform the northwest waterfront into a destination for international travellers.


The centrepiece, although still on the drawing board, is a propos-al called Vancouver International Plaza at Duck



If it gains approval, it will rejuvenate a large tract of industrial land on Duck Island that formerly was the site of

Lehigh Cement Ltd., walking distance from the Bridge-port Canada Line station and bordering the River Rock



The concept calls for six luxurious hotels and a total of four mil-lion square feet of development, which Jingon

International Development Group calls a "major entertainment and commercial destination for the region."


Public amenities will include a riverfront walkway and plaza, and piers reaching into the Fraser River, as well as a

park, sports courts and gardens, a dock for ferries running to destinations up the Fraser River and a 450,000-

square-foot trade and convention centre.


"It's a spectacular location," said Gary Pooni, president of Brook Poo-ni Associates, the Vancouver-based project

manager and planning consultant for Jingon's proposal.


"It really comes out of the City of Richmond and its post-Olympic legacy," said Pooni.


"Richmond is now known as an international city and an international destination.


"The infrastructure through the airport and the Canada Line and an international local population, for us, makes

the timing right."


Pooni compared the concept with developments in Los Angeles, Australia and Singapore, adding there's nothing

like it in Canada.


"They become office, hotel, entertainment, retail, restaurant and a convention centre . . . an international

destination," he said.


"It becomes another reason to visit Metro Vancouver and Richmond.


"It will also be for the local people of Richmond who just want some-thing to do," he said.


It's early in the planning process, he noted. If all goes smoothly, construction could begin in late 2013 and take

years to build out.


Brodie also revealed an innovative way to get a station built on the Canada Line without any money coming from

TransLink, the cash-strapped regional transit authority.


"We do need the station, but TransLink has no money to build it," he told a luncheon gathering of the Richmond

Chamber of Commerce.


His plan involves buyers of the 6,600 units of housing to be built in the area around Capstan and No. 3 Road to

deposit $7,800 each into a fund for the station.


From that money, $25 million would be used to build the station.


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