Canada150 Pop-up Park arrives in Central City Plaza

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Surrey’s annual PARKit pop-up park has returned for another summer in City Centre. Since 2013, the park has been a fixture through the summer months as an installation underneath the SkyTrain guideway next to Surrey Central Station. Students from UBC’s School of Landscape Architecture have competed on winning designs for the park each year.

This year, the park has moved to a new location in the Central City Plaza to celebrate Canada150 – Canada’s 150th Birthday. The installation’s theme is ‘A Canadian Summer’ and incorporates elements of a classic Canadian summer day spent relaxing at the lake with a picnic. The park features an outdoor public piano within a tent-shaped structure, numerous picnic tables, iconic Muskoka chairs, tree planters, a make-believe lake, and a dock. This year’s park was designed by Amy Tsang.

The park will be in place through the summer until September 11.

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‘The HUB’ at King George Station returns to Council with a re-design

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‘Phase B’ of PCI Group’s ‘The Hub’ at King George Station is returning to Council on Monday June 12. This 2nd phase of the eventual 4-phase project was initially approved back in 2014 under a previous application, but did not proceed to construction. One of the reasons for this was the need for a road adjustment on the site to accommodate the future LRT station along King George Blvd outside the existing Coast Capital Savings building (Phase A of the project). As a result, the road constructed as part of Phase A will be re-constructed further south to allow more space for the LRT station to the north. With this road adjustment has also come a re-design of the project as a whole. While the concept is generally still the same, the architecture has changed substantially, and the project has grown from 2 towers (as part of Phase B) to 3.

Details of Phase B now include:

  • A 15-storey office tower (137,084 sq.ft.) at the new intersection of 98A & KGB
  • A 40-storey condo tower (434 units) at Fraser Hwy & KGB
  • A 29-storey condo tower (302 units) at Fraser Hwy & 137 St
  • A 112,535-sq.ft. single-storey retail podium consisting of two large format retailers (a grocery store and a drug store) and a number of smaller format CRU’s.

  • A stand-alone 9,376-sq.ft. 2-storey restaurant south of the Coast Capital Building.
  • An expanded plaza the heart of the project, which will allow for retailers, such as the grocery store and restaurants to spill out onto with displays and seating to animate the space. The plaza aligns with the Coast Capital Community Plaza to the north.

Further architectural details include:

  • The 40-storey tower is proposed to be accentuated with a “ribbon” punctuated feature cladding on the west and east façades, with a canopy linkage that will architecturally and physically connect each tower and provide an overhead trellis wrapping over an amenity space at each tower’s rooftop.
  • The 29-storey residential tower is proposed as a “complementary tower” and will express the same architectural vocabulary as the taller tower at a reduced vertical scale.
  • Both residential towers are defined by contrasting major elements: refined high performance curtain wall glazing and linear projected balconies providing solar shading and glare reduction to the south, while the west and east ends are distinguished from the curtain wall with the “ribbon” feature punctuated façade with recessed balconies.
  • The proposed material palette is broken up to create distinctive buildings on the site.

Proposed Public Art:

  • 2 locations for public art have been identified. One art installation will be located within the plaza, fronting 98B Avenue and the other art installation will be within the traffic circle of 98B Avenue / 137 Street.

Project plans and elevations:

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Noticeably missing in the re-designed project is the Movie Theatre that was initially proposed under the 2014 application. It is expected that Phase B will begin construction in 2018 and be completed in 2021.

For more on the application:
http://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7917-0162-00.pdf

‘Whalley District’ heads to Council on Monday June 12

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Tien Sher Group’s long awaited ‘Whalley District’ is finally heading to Council on Monday June 12 for 1st & 2nd Readings. The project which first appeared in 2012 under a previous application, and then again in 2015 under its current application, is aiming to kickstart a revitalization of the historic heart of Whalley near 108th Ave & King George Blvd.

Details of the plan released in the Planning Report to Council indicate that the project will be built in 3 phases as outlined below:

Phase 1:

    • A 6-storey condo tower with retail at ground level fronting Whalley Blvd
    • A 35-storey condo tower with retail, arts, and plaza space below.
    • 4 live/work townhouse units
    • A 426-sq. metre (4,585-sq.ft.) street-level outdoor plaza at the intersection of future 136A Street and 107A Avenue. The plaza is intended to be used as a public gathering space where frequent weekend entertainment, education, and art events can take place. The applicant has proposed to partner with a non-profit arts and culture organization (Flamingo Square Arts Connection) to activate the space.

Phase 1 will include a total of 349 dwelling units. The commercial component for Phase 1 will consist of 1,960 square metres (21,095 sq.ft.) of floor area.

Phases 2-3:

  • A 37-storey condo tower with retail at ground level
  • A 46-storey condo tower with retail at ground level, including a large-format grocery store.

It is expected that Phase 1 of the project will get underway by Spring 2018.

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West Village featured in City of Surrey promotional video

A new promotional video has been posted on the City of Surrey’s YouTube channel featuring the emerging West Village neighbourhood of Surrey City Centre. Located to the west of Surrey Central Station north of 102 Ave and south of 104 Ave, West Village is a newly coined name for the area, in the midst of transformation into high density, mixed-use, green, urban neighbourhood.

Already home to a number of residential towers, West Village is poised to grow rapidly over the next decade with the addition of more residential towers, shops, offices, parks, pedestrian walkways, bike paths, a district energy centre, and an expanded Simon Fraser University. All this within close walking distance to SkyTrain, future LRT, Civic Plaza, and the city’s emerging Central Business District.

Aside from the focus on West Village, the video features a new live-action 3D rendered depiction of the future City Centre area, envisioned by 2025. While many of the future buildings shown in the video are conceptual placeholders, many others are known proposals or already under construction such as SFU’s Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building, and Weststone Group’s Evolve. Oddly however some known proposed and even under-construction buildings are absent from the film, such as the under construction Prime on the Plaza, which is shown as a vacant grass field next to SFU in the video.

The video and screenshots can be found below:

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View of future Surrey City Centre (approx. 2025)
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West Village Neighbourhood (approx. 2025)
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View looking east on future Central Ave next to under construction Evolve
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View looking west on future Central Ave towards under construction Evolve
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View of the future District Energy Centre and West Village Park
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Top down view of future West Village Park & District Energy Centre
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Future West Village Park
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View of the Central Business District
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Future pedestrianized City Parkway at Central Avenue 
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SFU Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building
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View west towards SFU and West Village
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View west along Central Avenue (Oddly missing Prime on the Plaza)

‘Whalley District’ aims to revitalize gateway to City Centre

Developer Tien Sher Group held a packed Town Hall meeting today to present their vision and plans for a revitalized Whalley. Dubbed ‘Whalley District’, the plan is for a development consisting of 3 high-rise condo towers and 1 low-rise condo building over a mix of commercial, retail, community, and plaza space on the south-east corner of 108 Ave and King George Blvd in the historic heart of Whalley. Tien Sher has already developed the neighbouring ‘Quatto’ project at Whalley Blvd and 108 Ave, along with ‘Balance’ on Grosvenor Rd, and the currently under construction ‘Venue’. 

While news of the development is not new, having been under application since 2015, what is new is their now announced plans to partner with a local arts group to bring a significant arts component to the project as a means to revitalize and bring culture to the Whalley area. It is expected that community space will be provided in the development for the non-profit arts group and their programming.

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At the meeting, Tien Sher presented their plans for the introduction of a pedestrian-only street through the centre of the development dubbed the ‘Flamingo Block’ on what would be future 136A St. The Flamingo name comes from the long-standing Flamingo Hotel which has been on the site since the 1950’s, but will be torn down to make way for the development. At present, the City of Surrey wishes to see this as a future road open to traffic, however Tien Sher is leading a petition to build it as a pedestrian-only street where public art, cultural programming, and gathering could take place. This would compliment an additional proposed plaza/park on the corner of 108 & King George, also to be build as part of the development.

The project, which is expected to appear before council for preliminary approvals and public hearing before summer, is to be built in phases beginning with a 6-storey condo building with retail below along Whalley Blvd at the east end of the site. This will then be followed by phases 2-4 consisting of a 35-storey, 37-storey, and lastly a 46-storey condo tower(s) above commercial, retail, and arts/community space. It is expected that the first phase of the project will break ground by Spring 2018.

In the meantime, the arts group is looking to engage arts initiatives around the City Centre right away, and is seeking anyone who would like to become involved. Ideas for arts initiatives that can be introduced in the City Centre are wide ranging, from murals, public art, beatification projects, community groups, activities, and more.

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For more information on Whalley District, to get involved, and to sign their arts & culture petition, visit: http://whalleydistrict.com

For more information and to get involved with the Flamingo Square Arts Connection, join their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Flamingo-Square-Arts-Connection-754586634722551/

PHOTO UPDATE: SFU Surrey Expansion

SFU’s first phase of expansion in Surrey continues to progress quickly at University Dr and 102 Ave. The building has now reached 2 levels in height north of its future atrium, while a double height first floor and lecture theatre are under construction on its southern portion. To the north behind it, Prime on the Plaza also continues to rise, now at a height of 10 storeys.

SFU’s Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building is the first of a planned 3 phase expansion of the campus on the parking lots surrounding Central City. A residence tower is also planned next to this current phase on the remaining portion of the site framed by the ‘L’ shape of the building, fronting 102 Ave. It is expected that the Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building will be completed as early as spring 2018, and open for classes by fall 2018.

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