City Centre Newsletter

UrbanSurrey is transitioning to a monthly newsletter in partnership with the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association. The newsletter will be available on a monthly basis via the SurreyCityCentre.ca website. There you will find information and resources on the continued growth and transformation of Surrey’s new City Centre.

The monthly newsletter will be available under the Development Updates section of the website. A link to October’s newsletter can be found at the link below, providing an overview of current applications, approvals, and construction within City Centre:

Surrey City Centre Monthly Update – October Newsletter

The current projects section of this blog will continue to be updated on a periodic basis.

Brightside by Bosa BlueSky heads to Public Hearing

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View looking west along 104 Avenue from King George Blvd

Surrey Council gave 1st & 2nd Readings on Monday night to Bosa BlueSky’s next project in Surrey City Centre – Brightside – which will now head to Public Hearing and 3rd Reading (Preliminary Approval) in 2 weeks. The project, which has been under application for the past 2 years, is set to transform the former Brick / Sears Outlet store site at City Parkway & 104 Avenue, which has been sitting vacant for numerous years now. Overall, the application is seeking:

  • A General Development Permit (Form & Character) for the entire site to allow for a phased, mixed-used development consisting of 3 high-rise and 2 low-rise buildings, including:
    • 40-Storey residential tower with ground floor retail (Phase 1)
    • 50-Storey mixed-use residential tower with ground floor retail and 17 floors of office in a stepped podium (Future Phase)
    • 50-Storey residential tower with market and rental units (Future Phase)
    • 2.5-Storey market-hall commercial building
    • 2-Storey amenity building
  • A Detailed Development Permit for phase 1 of the project.
  • OCP Amendment and City Centre Plan amendments to allow for up to 7.5 FAR (9.2 FAR net) density.
  • Rezoning
  • Consolidation from 2 existing lots to 2 new lots.

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View looking north along City Parkway from Surrey Central Station

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View from public and amenity space within interior of site looking south

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View looking east along 104 Avenue

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Future ‘Market-hall’ commercial building in centre of site as part of future phases.

Designed by Perkins & Will, the first phase of the project, a 40-Storey residential tower with ground-floor retail, is to be located at the corner of City Parkway and 104 Avenue and will include:

  • 418 Market Residential Units
  • 2,831 sq.ft. of ground floor Retail

The remaining buildings, subject to future Detailed Development Permit applications, will be located further east along 104 Avenue and north along 105 Avenue. The tallest of the towers, the 50-Storey mixed-use building with 17-Storey office podium, would become the new tallest in Surrey once complete, assuming no other building surpasses it by then, at 554 ft. (169m). The two future low-rise amenity, and market-hall buildings located in the centre of the site are to be set within a publicly accessible plaza that will invite people into the site from 104 Avenue. The plaza will be activated by retail and restaurant spaces at grade, as well as landscaping, and public art, subject to future detailed design.

In total once all phases are complete, the project will include:

  • 1,352 Residential Units (including 200 rental units)
  • 202,146 sq.ft. of Office
  • 37,049 sq.ft. of Retail

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In addition to the buildings on site, the project will also bring into alignment the intersection of City Parkway and 104 Avenue. The north and south portions of City Parkway on either side of 104 Avenue currently do not connect. This alignment is expected to be completed as part of the first phase, with tower 1 to be aligned on an angle with the newly constructed City Parkway.

Phase 1 of the project is expected to be completed by 2025, with the remaining buildings to follow later in the decade. For more on the project:

https://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7918-0350-00.pdf

Holland Parkside to bring mix of Housing, Office, Retail, and Public Market

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A new mixed-use development proposed for a vacant piece of land next to Holland Park is set to appear before Council on Monday, February 24 for 1st & 2nd Readings. Known as Holland Parkside, and being developed by Century Group (the same developer as 3 Civic Plaza), the project is proposing to bring a mix of market and rental housing, office, retail, restaurant, public food market, and courtyard green space to the growing neighbourhood surrounding King George Station. Overall, the project is to include:

  • 42 + 36 Storey Market Residential Towers above a townhouse base (818 Units)
  • 19-Storey Rental Residential Tower (204 Units)
  • 10-Storey Mid-Rise Office Tower (212,000 sq.ft. including retail)
  • Ground-level Retail in a double-height podium at the base of the office and rental towers along King George Blvd, including a 2-storey restaurant and large market hall for food vendors
  • A publicly accessible Central Courtyard on level 3 with an urban agriculture and food-related theme

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Perspective along King George Blvd – Rental Residential Tower (Left), Office Mid-Rise (Right), and 2-Storey Retail / Market Hall Podium

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Perspective along west side of site adjacent to existing Single Family – Market Residential Towers and Townhouse Base

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Perspective along 99 Ave – Office Mid-Rise (Left) and Market Residential Tower (Right)

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Perspective along 98A Ave – Market Residential Tower (Left), Rental Residential Tower (Right), Level 3 Courtyard (Centre)

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A publicly accessible courtyard on level 3 in the centre of the site, accessible via a grand staircase through the site from King George Blvd

Designed by ZGF Architects, the development is to be built in phases over a number of years, subject to market conditions. The current application is for a Rezoning, City Centre Plan Amendment, and General Development Permit (for Form & Character) only. Detailed Development Permits for each phase will be brought forth at later dates under separate applications.

At the south end of the site, a small portion of land will be dedicated to allow for 98A Avenue to bend northward and intersect with ‘George Junction’ a new crescent road to connect through the King George Hub development across the street. At the north end of the site, a new 99 Ave will be constructed, which will then bend south around the development to connect to 98B Ave to the west. The existing single family housing to the west is expected to be redeveloped in the future to 4-6 Storey multi-family, as per the City Centre Plan.

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Contextual view facing North-West

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Contextual View facing South-East

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Contextual View facing North-East

At this time, detailed design of project is still underway, and will continue to be refined through subsequent development permit applications for each phase. The report to Council notes that the first phase is expected to be constructed and ready for occupancy by summer 2024, although does not mention which portion will be developed first. Given that all 4 buildings share a common parkade, podium, and level 3 Central Courtyard, it’s unclear how the project would be built in phases.

For more on the project:

https://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7918-0217-00.pdf

26-Storey ‘CityWalk’ receives Preliminary Approval

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A 26-Storey residential tower proposed at Central Ave and 133 St in the growing West Village neighbourhood received Preliminary Approval following Public Hearing on January 13. The project, named ‘CityWalk’ and being developed by Huacheng Holdings is located directly across from the new West Village District Energy Centre and Park, as well as the recently completed Evolve tower.

Designed by Wilson Chang Architect, the project is to include 223 units within a 26-storey tower above a 4-storey podium with ground-oriented townhouse units at the base fronting along Central Ave and 133 St. The building is intended to transition height from taller towers east of the site, down to a low to mid-rise form west of the site along 132 St at the edge of City Centre.

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Perspective view looking north-east with 36-storey Evolve across the street

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View facing south-west from 133 St & Central Ave

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View facing north from proposed Public Pathway

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View facing north west from 133 St

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As part of the Landscape Plan prepared for the site by Vancouver’s ETA Landscape Architecture, a public walkway is proposed along the south side of the building, lending the project its name. This pathway will connect to an existing public walkway across the street to the east between the Evolve and Ultra towers, and eventually extend further east through to Civic Plaza as more projects develop. A green-roof is also proposed as part of the plan on top of the low-rise podium.

Additionally as part of the project, Central Avenue will see its remaining south half dedicated and constructed west of 133 St for the length of the site, inclusive of a separated bike lane to match the already constructed north side of the street.

Having now received 3rd Reading, the project can be expected to receive Final Approval within a year, and completion likely by 2024-5.

For more on the project https://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7918-0125-00.pdf

Surrey City Centre: A Decade in Review

With the new year upon us, it’s time for this blog’s annual review of the past year in Surrey City Centre, as well as a look at what can be expected ahead in 2020. Additionally this year, we will also take a look back at the past decade, which saw accelerating growth and transformation in City Centre, a trend likely to persist as Surrey’s downtown becomes further established, and continues to attract more people, businesses, institutions, and jobs.

Growth in 2019

Construction activity in Surrey City Centre reached record levels in 2019, with many projects approved in previous years entering the construction phase, joining others already under construction, and others completing. Overall 2019 construction activity is summarized below:

6 significant projects began construction

  • One Central | 44 Storeys
  • Georgetown One | 30 Storeys
  • Linea | Residential | 28 Storeys
  • Veterans Village | Mixed-Use | 20 Storeys
  • Camellia | Residential | 5 Storeys
  • La Voda | Residential | 6 Storeys

7 significant projects continued construction

  • King George Hub B | Residential, Office, Retail | 15 + 29 + 40 Storeys
  • Park Boulevard | Residential | 39 Storeys
  • King George Hub C | Rental Residential | 34 Storeys
  • City Centre 3 | Office, Retail | 10 Storeys
  • Fraser Landmark | Residential | 6 Storeys
  • Maverick | Residential | 5 Storeys
  • 13904 102 Ave | Residential | 4 Storeys

8 significant projects completed construction

  • Prime | Residential, Office, Retail | 37 Storeys
  • Evolve | Residential, Office, Retail | 36 Storeys
  • Aspire | Residential | 6 Storeys
  • Porte HQ | Residential | 6 Storeys
  • SFU Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building | 5 Storeys
  • 9909 140 St | Residential | 4 Storeys
  • Surrey Central Station Expansion
  • West Village Park & District Energy Centre

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One Central under excavation at Central Ave & 133A St

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Linea by Rize under construction at 104 Ave & 133 St

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King George Hub (Phase B) under construction at King George Blvd & Fraser Hwy

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Park Boulevard under construction on Whalley Blvd near 100 Ave

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King George Hub B & Park Boulevard as seen from Fraser Hwy

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Georgetown One under excavation at Whalley Blvd & 102 Ave

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City Centre 3 by Lark Group under construction on 96 Ave

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Aspire recently completed on 101 Ave near Whalley Blvd

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Prime completed in Fall 2019 at University Dr & Central Ave

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HQ by Porte at 140 St & 105A Ave completed early 2019

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Evolve completed in 2019 at Central Ave & 133 St

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SFU Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building completed in Spring 2019

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Surrey Central Station expansion completed in Spring 2019

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West Village Park & District Energy Centre completed in Spring 2019

As for new Development Applications, 2019 saw a drop from 2018’s record number of 25 applications, to 19 new applications. This is still well above all previous years in the decade between 2010 and 2017, indicating continued strong interest from the development community in 2019. These 19 new Development Applications included approximately 21 towers (>6 Storeys) and 14 low-rises (4-6 Storeys), comprising over 7,200 units and over 300,000 sq.ft. of commercial space in 2019 applications alone.

As of January 2020, in total there are currently 65 significant active applications either under review, approved, or under construction in City Centre consisting of approximately 69 high rises (>6 Storeys) and 44 low-rises (<6 Storeys), representing approximately 23,000 units and over 1,650,000 sq.ft. of commercial space. More info on all active projects can be found on the Active Projects in City Centre page. 

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Looking ahead to 2020

2019’s drop in Development Applications from that of 2018 can perhaps be seen as symptom of the cooling real estate market from its peak in 2017. Despite this drop, Development Application activity in City Centre remains strong, and can be expected to continue in 2020 with many new projects known to be in the early planning stages, likely to submit applications within the coming year. Of these, we’re likely to find out more details on the much anticipated Centre Block redevelopment (former North Surrey Rec Centre), rumoured to include significant office space, retail, and a further expansion of SFU, all integrated within a new transit plaza and revamped Surrey Central Station.

Aside from this, construction activity in 2020 can be expected to include:

7 significant project construction starts

  • University District | Residential, Retail | 28 + 37 Storeys
  • Park George | Residential | 35 + 39 Storeys
  • The Holland (Phase 1) | Residential | 25 Storeys
  • Central City II | Office | 25 Storeys (Potential late 2020 start)
  • Centra | Residential | 23 Storeys
  • Rosewood | Residential, Office | 5 Storeys
  • Parker | Residential | 4 Storeys

10 significant projects continued construction

  • One Central | 44 Storeys
  • King George Hub B | Residential, Office, Retail | 40 + 29 + 15 Storeys
  • Park Boulevard | Residential | 39 Storeys
  • King George Hub C | Rental Residential | 34 Storeys
  • Georgetown One | 30 Storeys
  • Linea | Residential | 28 Storeys
  • Veterans Village | Mixed-Use | 20 Storeys
  • City Centre 3 | Office, Retail | 10 Storeys
  • Camellia | Residential | 5 Storeys
  • La Voda | Residential | 6 Storeys

3 significant projects expected completion

  • Fraser Landmark | Residential | 6 Storeys
  • Maverick | Residential | 5 Storeys (Potential late 2020 completion)
  • 13904 102 Ave | Residential | 4 Storeys

Aside from this, we can also expect to find out more details on a number of high profile applications currently in the initial stages of review as they proceed to Council in 2020, such as:

  • Bosa’s upcoming 104 Ave & City Parkway project
  • King George Hub (Phase D)
  • Plaza 104 redevelopment
  • Holland Parkside by Century Group
  • A revised proposal for the GEC Education Mega Centre

Moving beyond 2020, it’s likely we will see an even further acceleration of the strong growth trend, as 2018 and 2019’s record development applications enter the construction stage, and other yet-to-be announced transformative projects begin to take shape. Accompanying this will be the extension of SkyTrain to Langley by the mid-to-late decade, which should further position Surrey City Centre as a regional downtown, within closer commuting distance to the rapidly growing Fraser Valley than Downtown Vancouver. With all this growth, Surrey City Centre is shaping up to become a remarkably different place by the end of the 2020’s than it is today, with more transformation likely in the coming decade, than in the past, or even past two combined.

Transformative ‘Gateway’ Project proceeds to Public Hearing

A transformative ‘Gateway’ project at the north end of City Centre along King George Blvd at Bolivar Rd received 1st & 2nd Readings at Council on Monday, and will now proceed to Public Hearing on January 13. The project, which has been in the planning stages for nearly 5 years, initially appeared before Council back in April 2018, but was referred back to Staff to work with the applicant on refining the proposal, and to determine a ‘significant amenity contribution’ in exchange for increased density on the site. Since then, the project, designed by Vancouver’s MCM Architects has undergone significant design refinements to create an ‘iconic’ gateway development consisting of 1,040 units within:

  • 37-Storey Residential Tower above a 7-Storey podium
  • 31-Storey Residential Tower above a 6-Storey podium
  • 26-Storey Residential Tower above a 6-Storey podium
  • Two 6-Storey Low-Rise Residential Buildings
  • A 5,673 sq.ft. Childcare Facility
  • A small Cafe

Under the current application however, only the 26-Storey Residential Tower, Childcare Facility, Cafe, and a large ‘Orchard Plaza’ will be built as a first phase at the corner of King George Blvd and Bolivar Rd. The remainder of the development will be subject to future detailed Development Permit applications. The first phase tower will consist of 239 units, with the Childcare Facility and Cafe at its base. The large interior ‘Orchard Plaza’ design by Vancouver’s PWL Partnership Landscape Architects is intended to “celebrate connections to local agriculture” and will incorporate fruit trees within moveable planters, in addition to seating, an open lawn space, playground space, and an interactive stormwater capturing feature.

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View looking south on King George Blvd from Bolivar Rd

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View looking south along Barker St from Bolivar Rd

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View of interior ‘Orchard Plaza’ from Barker St

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Close-up view of interior ‘Orchard Plaza’ with interactive stormwater feature

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View of Cafe and plaza at corner of King George and Bolivar within Phase 1

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Public realm entry into interior of site from King George Blvd

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View looking north along King George Blvd of landscaped sidewalk and bike path

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Proposed Phasing Plan

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Landscape Site Plan

Overall, the proposal is proposing a blended density of 4.2 FAR on the site, which exceeds the currently permitted 2.5 FAR in that area of the City Centre Plan, intended for 4-6-Storey development. As a condition of allowing the increased density, the developer is offering a significant community amenity contribution above and beyond what is required, as well as providing a significant number of ‘family-sized units’ of 2-bedrooms or larger.

In addition to the development itself, significant upgrades will be made to surrounding streets including an expansive new landscaped sidewalk and separated bike path along King George Blvd, and new dedication and construction of Barker Street to the north.

For more on the application:

https://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7917-0397-00.pdf