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Richmond looks to improve industrial land base

Richmond council is looking at amending its industrial land zoning to encourage better uses.
Industrial land in Richmond is in high demand.

With low vacancy rates, Richmond city council will look at higher and better uses of industrial lands in the city.

This could include allowing limited retail space, reduced parking, increased lots usage, taller industrial buildings and new types of businesses like micro-breweries.

Another recommendation from staff is to increase density on industrial lands.

Seventeen per cent of all industrial land in the Lower Mainland is located in Richmond, but the vacancy rate sits at 1.6 per cent (Avison Young, a real estate company, estimated this to be 0.8 per cent, out of a total of 38.5 million square feet, in the third quarter of 2020).

A report going to council – on the agenda for Monday’s committee meeting - notes that demand for industrial land continues to outpace new supply and, sometime between 2035 and 2047, all industrial land in Metro Vancouver will be “fully absorbed.”

In Richmond, 37 per cent of the workforce – 44,000 jobs – is located in industrial lands.

The staff report notes there is pressure on industrial land to be converted to other uses, for example, commercial use, but non-industrial use would drive up prices.