The challenge of converting the aging 1960’s Richmond Senior Citizens Housing Complex into a new modern housing complex with twin towers to provide 296 housing units for low-income seniors was a complicated task.  Ultimately it required the involvement of two levels of government and cooperation between the Kiwanis and a major developer.  With a prime five acre parcel of land in the centre of the Richmond city core, the Kiwanis had a valuable asset that needed to be transformed into a new low-income seniors housing complex.  

As the Kiwanis’ project manager, we oversaw all aspects of the development including the sale of a portion of the property to a major developer to generate part of the funds to construct the new housing units.  The Kiwanis, developer and the City of Richmond then entered into an agreement to fund part of the construction costs from housing contributions made by the developer from other projects they were developing in Richmond.  A mortgage through BC Housing completed the necessary funding to complete the project.

Kiwanis then entered into an agreement with the developer to construct the new housing complex complete with indoor and outdoor amenities, reduced parking and the provision of on-site building management.

A major challenge of the project was the relocation of the existing tenants during construction.  All tenants were successfully relocated with financial assistance from the Kiwanis, with many of the original tenants returning to the new complex as priority residents.

To further enhance and assist the seniors with the dislocation the Kiwanis entered into a partnership with the Simon Fraser University Gerontology Research Centre.  Research staff interviewed the senior tenants before and during their relocation and again after they returned to the new housing complex.  The Place-Making with Seniors Research Team provided the design team with valuable tenant feedback that would help shape their new home.  Their research also garnered international awards for the SFU Gerontology Research Centre.