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They include an enormous 28-hectare destination shopping centre adjacent to the River Rock Casino


Richmond's population is expected to increase 40 per cent within the next 30 years as an almost unprecedented wave of developments are slated for the city, including an enormous 28-hectare destination shopping centre adjacent to the River Rock Casino, Mayor Malcolm Brodie announced Tuesday.


Details of the development were sparse, but Brodie said Jingon International Development Group's vision for a former cement plant site on Duck Island is an international-sized shopping centre, the likes of which are only found in Shanghai or Los Angeles.


"You would have to go there to see anything on this scale," Brodie told the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.


He said the development would include six hotels, more than four million square feet of retail, entertainment and office space, and a 450,000-square-foot trade and exhibition centre.


No price tag was put on the development, but Brodie said it was the single largest development proposal ever received by the city.


The proposal is still in its initial stage at city hall but it "illustrates the significant investment potential we are seeing in the City of Richmond right now," Brodie said.


Up to $4 billion worth of new development is being proposed for Richmond, including 16 hotels totalling 2,500 rooms, 12,000 new residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space and 2.5 million square feet of retail space.


Most of this development will be located near the Canada Line which, along with the Olympic oval, is responsible for kick-starting much of the development, Brodie said.


Richmond's population was 150,000 in 1996 and 200,000 today. By 2041, it will increase to 280,000, he said.


Most of the new population would be located in the city centre area, said Brodie, as developers have been promised higher densities if they locate close to Canada Line stations.


At present, the downtown population of Richmond is 5,500 people per square kilometre, which will increase to 11,000 per square kilometre by 2041, said Brodie.


However, he noted this is only half the 22,000 people per square kilometre found in the West End of Vancouver.


"The key to managing all our growth is sound planning. We have an area plan designed to ensure growth, improve our quality of life and sustain a balanced economy and at the same time we want to protect our farmland, our single-family neighbourhoods and also our environment.


"We're not building out, we're building up," said Brodie.


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