Nearly 3 years since construction began, SFU’s new Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building officially opened today. The opening was marked with a ceremony attended by BC’s premier John Horgan, MLA’s and other guests. The 5-storey, 220,000 sq.ft. building, designed by Vancouver’s late Bing Thom, has already become a new landmark redefining the Surrey Central area.
As just the first phase in a three-phase expansion plan for SFU in Surrey City Centre, the new building will accommodate 440 full-time students, and be home to SFU’s Mechatronics Systems Engineering (MSE) program with additional space for SFU’s Technology Entrepreneurship program.
In addition to the building itself, the development has contributed to a new high quality streetscape along University Drive with grade-separated bike lanes, benches, and a temporary corner park at 102 Avenue. The grassed corner will remain until 102A Avenue is eventually re-aligned through that space and the Surrey Central Bus Loop, as per the City Centre Plan.
Early last year, work began on the 105 Avenue Connector and Hawthorne Park Improvements project. The purpose of the project was to improve connectivity between City Centre and Guildford through a new multi-modal collector road, as well as deliver numerous improvements to Hawthorne Park – including improved accessibility, a new aquatic habitat, and increasing the park’s overall size.
Since then, Phase 1 of the project, including the 105A Connector between Whalley Blvd and 144 Street has mostly completed, with some finishing touches remaining between 139 Street and 140 Street. The new 105A Avenue is a multi-modal corridor featuring 2 vehicle lanes, grade separated bike lanes, sidewalks, boulevards, fencing, and enhanced pedestrian-oriented street lighting. The route offers pedestrians and cyclists a pleasant alternative to 104 Avenue, skirting the edge of Hawthorne Park and continuing west past 140th Street into City Centre.
Below is a small photo tour of the new 105A and park improvements.
Happy 2019! As we enter the new year, it’s time for this blog to take its annual look what’s ahead for development in Surrey City Centre over the coming year.
2018 in Review
A total of 6 new projects began construction in 2018 – representing 5 high-rises (>6 storeys) and 3 low-rises (4-6 storey). These included:
Park Boulevard | Condo | 42 Storeys
King George Hub (Phase B) | Condo, Office, Retail | 15, 29 + 40 Storeys
City Centre 3 | Office, Retail | 10 Storeys
La Voda | Condo | 6 Storeys
Fraser Landmark | Condo | 6 Storeys
Maverick | Condo | 5 Storeys
New Development Applications
Aside from new construction underway, 2018 saw a surge in new development applications. Looking back at the past 3 years, the number of new high-rise development applications submitted in 2018 was double that of 2017, and triple that of 2016. Overall, a total of 23 new applications were submitted in City Centre for both high-rise and low-rise development representing 21 high-rises (>6 storeys) and 10 low-rises (4-6 storeys). This is the highest number of development applications submitted in a single year in City Centre’s history, and included:
With the surge in new development applications in 2018, and many projects making it through the approvals process, 2019 and the next few years could bring record construction in City Centre. As we enter 2019, numerous projects are already in the marketing stage, and could begin construction by the end of the year, assuming market conditions remain favourable.
Potential Construction Starts 2019
One Central | Mixed-Use | 44 Storeys
Park George | Condo | 35 + 39 Storeys
University District (Phase 2) | Mixed-Use | 28 + 37 Storeys
King George Hub (Phase C) | Rental | 34 Storeys
Avani Centre | Hotel, Condo | 30 Storeys
Georgetown (Phase 1) | Mixed-Use | 30 Storeys
Linea | Condo | 28 Storeys
The Holland | Condo | 25 Storeys
Veterans Village (Phase 1) | Mixed-Use | 26 Storeys
Centra | Condo | 23 Storeys
Camilla Residences | Seniors Housing | 5 Storeys
14008 108 Avenue | Condo | 5 Storeys
Parker by Mosaic | Condo | 4 Storeys
Aside from construction starts, the following projects are expected to complete in 2019:
Expected Construction Completions 2019
Prime on the Plaza| Mixed-Use | 37 Storeys
Evolve | Mixed-Use | 36 Storeys
SFU Sustainable Energy + Environmental Engineering Bldg | 5 Storeys
HQ by Porte| Condo | 6 Storeys
Aspire| Condo | 6 Storeys
Surrey Central SkyTrain North Station House
West Village Park + District Energy Centre
New Development Applications in 2019
If the trend over the past 3 years is any indication, 2019 could be another strong year for development applications in City Centre. Many projects are known to be in the planning stages, but yet to submit applications. Will 2019 see a continued surge in development applications, a levelling off, or a slow down compared to 2018? We shall see over the next 12 months.
For more info on all active development applications in City Centre:
Concord Pacific’s Park Avenue West has finally opened near King George Station in Surrey City Centre. The tower which began construction in 2014, is the taller twin to Park Avenue East which opened in late 2016.
Standing at 39 Storeys tall, Park Avenue West not only adds another condo tower to the area, but also completes the the Park Avenue development, bringing with it a number of resort-style amenities, new public plaza space, walkways open to the public, lighting features, and a corner fountain with spotlights that illuminates the building in changing purple and blue tones at night. Park Avenue is the successor to the original 3 Park Place towers at King George Station, and is set to be followed by Park Boulevard which is expected to break ground by next year.
The opening of Park Avenue has quickly given a new feel to the area. A walk through the new public plaza, pathway, and amenity areas provides a good sense the future feel of Surrey City Centre, and the King George Station area in particular, with the quality of urban design and landscaping on-par and comparable to areas of Coal Harbour and Concord Pacific’s False Creek neighbourhood. With a number of new developments set to break ground within the next year in the immediate vicinity, the area’s transformation will only continue.
WestStone Group’s Evolve project has begun to pick up pace at 133 + 103A Ave. The main tower has now reached a height of 8 floors, with pouring set to begin on the 9th floor by the end of the week. The 36-storey condo tower and accompanying 3-storey commercial building is phase 4 of the 8-phase West Village master planned neighbourhood being developed by WestStone Group. Phase 5, which will consist of a 44-storey rental tower above a 13-storey podium just east of Evolve, is expected to break ground later this year or early next. Across 133 St from Evolve work has also just begun on the new West Village Park & District Energy Centre, set to open in 2018.
Reliance Properties and MacDonald Development’s Prime on the Plaza is beginning to rise quickly now over University Drive. Over the past month the building’s 4-storey townhouse / retail podium has taken shape, with work on the tower floors now progressing at a rate of about 1 floor per week. With the tower now 7 floors above ground, and 30 floors left to go, it could reach it’s final height by the end of the year, in roughly 30 weeks or 8 months.