- BC Games
Proposed Richmond high-rise would house international students
A $150-million development proposed for north Richmond could become an international hub for education, boasting a potential to accommodate 600 foreign students, along with language schools, colleges and universities.
Dubbed Global Education City, the development would occupy a site on the west side of No. 3 Road, between Bridgeport Road and Sea Island Way, near River Rock Casino Resort.
Wensley Architecture Ltd. has submitted plans to city hall for a nine-storey office and campus building fronting Sea Island Way, a 15-storey dormitory building at No. 3 Road, and a six-level parkade and amenity building fronting Bridgeport Road, according to the city.
Planning staff are reviewing the proposal, which has yet to be considered by city council.
An online promotional video sells the project as “Canada’s premium education super centre” with space for children’s education centres, language schools, career and technical colleges and universities, along with student residences. It suggests a completion date of spring 2016.
Realtor Joyce Soo is helping market the project. She said it’s “the first of its kind in North America,” adding it would serve as headquarters for CIBT Education Group.
The firm, whose current international head office is in Vancouver, owns and operates a network of private education institutions. CEO Toby Chu didn’t return a call, but among objectives listed on the company’s website is to deliver western instruction “to the rapidly growing emerging Asian market” through video conferencing.
Soo’s website, advertising a pre-sale of rentable units—office space and 500-square-foot student residences—said the project responds to growing demand.
“The demand for Canadian education for foreign students is growing yet accommodation in the Vancouver area is in limited supply. The market is expected to get even tighter and more student housing is needed.”