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.
The City of Surrey’s Advisory Design Panel (ADP) has approved the design for the upcoming 55-storey Education Mega Centre, being developed by CIBT Education Group in partnership with Surrey-based WestStone Group. The height of the tower, which was previously quoted to be 50-storeys, has now been confirmed at 55-storeys, however, taking into account several double-height floors, will be the equivalent of 63-storeys reaching a total height of 625 feet. This would make the tower the tallest building in Surrey once complete, and the 2nd tallest tower in Metro Vancouver, after the Shangri-La, which is 645 Feet. The current 2nd tallest is the Trump Tower at 616 Feet.
Hotel and residential facilities for over 1,400 students and guests
Supporting amenities including an electronic library, cafeteria, computer centre, study areas, quiet lounges, fitness centre, yoga room, laundry room, meeting and video conference rooms, office space and a coffee/tea lounge at the 55th floor 600 feet above ground.
Now that the project has passed the design panel approval stage, it will move forward to Council for 1st & 2nd readings when Council returns from summer break on September 11. Further renderings and details of the project will be released at that time. The project is expected to break ground by early next year, and be complete by 2021.
Another hotel is coming to City Centre. On Monday, council gave third reading / preliminary approval to a proposed 30-storey mixed-use hotel, condo, and commercial building at the corner of King George Blvd and 98th Ave. Branded as a Hampton by Hilton, the hotel will occupy the building’s 6-storey podium, along with ground level commercial space including a wine bar. Above the podium will be amenity space on the 7th floor, and a residential tower rising to 30 floors. In total, the building will consist of:
181 residential dwelling units
112 hotel rooms
8 two-storey ground oriented townhouses
133 square metres (1,432 sq. ft.) of ground-level commercial space
Designed by Architecture 49, the building features a unique form and massing, high-quality architectural design features, with substantial glazing and a high quality material palette, including an abstract pixelated image of a British Columbia landscape on the podium’s curtain wall glass.
When complete in 2020, the hotel will become City Centre’s second hotel offering an alternative to the upscale 5-star Marriott Autograph Collection – Civic Hotel, which is scheduled to open in November 2017. It will serve the growing nearby medical / technology district known as Innovation Boulevard as well as the needs of other business and personal travellers to the area.
The building will be located directly across from PCI Group’s The Hub at King George project ‘Phase B’, which is expected to begin construction on its 3 towers around the same time as construction would begin on the hotel project in 2018.
On Monday, Surrey Council authorized staff to move forward with an Alternative Approval Process to remove a 1979 bylaw reserving a portion of lands in Hawthorne Park for park purposes. The bylaw, which applies to 6 properties (shown on the map below), currently preserves the properties for park purposes. City Staff want to construct a new portion of 105 Avenue through the properties as part of an east-west connector road project which has been planned since the 1980’s. An ‘Alternative Approval Process’ will now move forward involving the public, with aim to remove the 1979 Bylaw and allow for the road’s construction.
While some have expressed discontent with the proposed plan, fuelled by misinformation from mainstream media outletstheproposed plan will actually bring many improvements to the park including a net increase in total size and number of trees. Under the original 1987 OCP plan for 105 St through the park, the alignment was to cut straight across the park east-west. As part of the current design process, the proposed road has been re-aligned to cut further south to have the least environmental impact to the park, and preserve a pair of environmentally sensitive ponds within the park. In total the improvements include:
Careful alignment of the proposed 105 St to minimize environmental impacts.
The proposed roadway will be a narrow, 2-lane cross section through the park with no on-street parking to minimize impacts.
3 properties along 108 Avenue are proposed to be added to the park to make up for parkland lost by road construction. This will result in a net increase of 1 acre of parkland from what exists today (4 acres of park removed for the road, 5 acres of park to be added in exchange)
200 additional trees from what exists today will be added to the park.
Addition of new bike lanes and sidewalks on 105 St improving accessibility to the park.
A previous proposed connection to 142 St has been removed from the current proposal to preserve more trees and parkland.
A new salmon rearing habitat to be added north of 105 St within the park.
Relocation of the existing Hawthorne Park parking lot and access roadway to a more efficient location, allowing for more green space within the park.
New walking trails to be established through the park.
While the plan for the 105 St connector through the park has been in place since 1987, the 1979 bylaw has prohibited the road from actually being constructed. While well intended at the time, the bylaw has since become outdated, put in place nearly 4 decades ago when Surrey was much less developed. In the current context of a rapidly growing city, the 105 St connector is an important piece of infrastructure needed to meet current and future transportation needs, as well as servicing demands within Surrey. The connector will also provide an alternative route to 104 Street, which is designated to become a transit-prioritized and oriented corridor in the near-future with the addition of LRT. The minimal loss of 4 acres of parkland within the 57 acre park (which will then be recuperated through the addition of 5 new acres of parkland) is a negligible price to pay for the greater community good of improved connectivity, accessibility, and overall improvements to the park.
A proposed Independent Seniors Living Facility & Child Care Centre received 1st & 2nd readings before Surrey Council Monday night for a new 5-storey building to be built at 132 St at 109 Ave. The building, which will provide homes exclusively for seniors 55+, will help establish a new urban streetscape along 132 St, that is in line with the new City Centre plan for that area. The western edge of City Centre along 132 St is envisioned to eventually be a continuous urban streetscape of 4-6 storey buildings, with this building being one of the first. Earlier this year, the 6-storey La Voda Condos project received preliminary approval just north of this project at 132 St and King George Blvd.
In total, the project will create a total of 117 new seniors living units in City Centre along with a 1,700 sq.ft. child care centre. In addition to the building itself, the project will also dedicate and build a new section of 109 Avenue to the south, and a new urban green lane to the east. These roads are required as part of the City Centre Plan.
Progress continues on the SFU Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building and Prime on the Plaza. As of July 5, work is progressing on the 17th floor of Prime on the Plaza and the 4th floor of SFU. Of notable interest is the large atrium taking shape within the new Bing Thom designed SFU building, which is already starting to have a dominating presence over University Dr. It is expected that both buildings will top out by the end of the year and be complete in 2018.