After nearly 2 years of construction, the Surrey Central Station north station house expansion officially opened to the public this weekend. Designed by OMB Architects, the new 2-storey station house is now the largest entrance at the station, fronting directly onto the corner of Central Avenue and City Parkway across from Civic Plaza.
The new station house features a contemporary, open, and airy design consisting of glass, concrete, and wood materials, as well as a prominent new First Nations art installation suspended from the ceiling – ‘The Sea Captain’ by Marianne Nicolson. A new retail unit has also been added to the station next to the entrance fronting Central Avenue, but has yet to be occupied by a tenant.
This latest upgrade to Surrey Central Station is just the beginning of an even larger expansion and re-configuration to come in the future. The lands immediately west of the station, where the current North Surrey Recreation Centre and Bus Loop sit – known as the ‘Centre Block’ are expected to be redeveloped in the coming decade. With that will come the removal of the suburban-style bus loop and re-positioning of bus bays onto streets surrounding the station. A major overhaul of the station is expected at that time to modernize and better integrate it into its evolving urban context.
The long awaited opening of Civic Hotel may finally be just around the corner. After numerous delays – having originally been set to open back in November – the hotel is finally showing signs that it is nearing completion. This week, fencing came down from in front of the building’s main lobby and Dominion Bar + Kitchen fronting Civic Plaza. In addition, landscaping has been planted next to Dominion’s patio, and a newly opened portion of Central Avenue. Signage for Dominion has also been installed on the awning.
While no official date has been set for opening, according to the Dominion Bar + Kitchen website, the restaurant is tentatively scheduled to host its first event – a comedy show – on April 21, 2018. The Marriott reservations website is now taking bookings for Civic Hotel for dates beginning on March 28, 2018 (although the available booking date has been pushed back in the past).
Despite looking nearing completion, it seems we will still have to wait another month or two before the hotel and restaurant open. Numerous things remain to be finished on the building including a number of additional signs to be installed, the removal of a construction elevator on the condo portion of the building, the completion of Civic Plaza lane on the north side of the building, the construction of Prado Cafe on the north side, and the finishing of numerous retail units along City Parkway. It is clear now that the building will open in phases – with the Hotel and Dominion Bar + Kitchen opening first, retail units along City Parkway likely following later this spring, the Condo tower by summer, and the 5-storey KPU campus this fall.
According to sources working on the project – one reason for the delayed opening of the building has been a water leak, affecting the elevator shaft of the main tower. This has delayed the removal of the exterior construction elevator for several months, as well as the exterior finishing of the north side of the tower, where the future Prado Cafe, and an exterior green wall will be. Rumours on the forum SkyscraperPage this week indicated that the construction elevator may finally be coming down by next week, which would hopefully help wrap up the exterior of the building prior to the hotel’s opening in less than 2 months. Regardless, it seems the building will remain an active construction site (at least on the inside) on the main tower and KPU portion, while the hotel and restaurant open on the other.
New renderings have been released by Stambol Studios of Lark Group’s upcoming City Centre 3 project in the emerging Health & Technology District. The 10-storey project, which received preliminary approval in October 2017, is the 3rd building in a series being developed by Lark Group to the north of Surrey Memorial Hospital near 96th Avenue and 137A Street.
As shown by the photo-realistic renderings, City Centre 3 will create a strong street wall along 96th Avenue, different from that of its predecessor, City Centre 1, which can be seen further to the west, stepped back from its podium. The ground floor will feature retail units fronting 96th Avenue, while the remainder of the building is expected to be leased / sold for a variety of office uses, particularly in the medical and technology industries.