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.