25-Storey ‘Central City II’ Office Tower heads to Council

The much anticipated ‘Central City II’ office tower will appear before Surrey Council on Monday for 1st & 2nd readings, as part of the first Council meeting since the summer break. Designed by ZGF Architects, the 25-storey (116.5m / 382 ft.) building will be the successor to the iconic Bing Thom designed ‘Central City I’, built in 2003, and bring much needed new office space to Surrey City Centre. Taking design cues from the original tower, while at the same time having its own distinctive architectural expression, the new building will be located just to the south-east of Central City I at the corner of King George Blvd and Old Yale Rd.

In all, the building is proposed to include:

  • 567,114 sq.ft. of AAA Office Space and Fitness Club on levels 2-25
  • 16,168 sq.ft. of ground-oriented retail, restaurant, and cafe space
  • Landscaped roof terraces on levels 3, 5, 10, 21, and 24
  • A new dedication of City Parkway
  • A new private east-west lane along the north side of the building connecting City Parkway to King George Blvd
  • Plazas and Separated Bike Lanes surrounding the building along King George Blvd, Old Yale Rd, and City Parkway
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View looking South along SkyTrain Guideway
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View Looking South-West along King George Blvd
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View looking North-West at corner of King George Blvd & Old Yale Rd
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South and East Elevations
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West and North Elevations

In terms of design, the building consists of a 25-storey tower with distinctive rust-toned metal panels, above a stepped podium, transitioning to different floor plates at levels 3, 5, 10, 21, and 24. The tower maintains a rounded rectangular form above the podium levels, before transitioning to an elliptical shape – similar to ‘Central City I’ at level 21. Above level 25, the vertical fins extend the curtain wall and frame an additional 2 storeys to conceal the rooftop mechanical equipment, and give the building a 27-storey appearance. The fins also provide space for signage, shown in renderings provided by ZGF, with the Central City logo, similar to the original tower. The bulk of the building’s massing is oriented towards King George Blvd and anchored to Old Yale Rd, creating a strong urban street wall and presence. The building tapers down towards the west, with its 4-storey podium extending to City Parkway, and the SkyTrain guideway.

The main entrance to the building will front onto a new public plaza along Old Yale Rd. This plaza will extend around the building on 3 sides, with retail, restaurant, and cafe space spilling out to activate frontages along City Parkway and King George Blvd. The south-west corner of the site at Old Yale Rd and City Parkway has been identified as a location for a future significant public art piece, subject to separate public art plan process.

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Ground floor Site Plan
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Landscaped outdoor terrace on Level 3
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Landscaped outdoor terrace on Level 5
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Landscaped outdoor terrace on Level 10
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Landscaped outdoor terrace on Level 21

Replacing the former Best Buy store at the corner of the existing mall parking lot, Central City II represents just phase 1 of a master redevelopment plan for the remainder of the Central City Shopping Centre site. More details of that plan will come through future development applications for subsequent phases. Earlier this year, the mall’s owner Blackwood Partners announced plans for a 1.5 storey addition to the existing parkade along University Drive which is expected to get underway in the coming months. Upon completion, this will allow for the closure of rooftop parking above parts of the existing mall along Old Yale Rd and eventual redevelopment of the site across from Holland Park.

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Development Application submitted for Central City 2

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Blackwood Partners has submitted a development application for the much anticipated Central City 2 office tower – proposed for the corner of King George Blvd and Old Yale Road on the site of a former Best Buy. The 25-storey tower designed by ZGF Architects is to be built to Class AAA and LEED Platinum standards and contain over 500,000 SF of office space, and 20,000 SF of ground level retail.

The proposed design of the tower has undergone considerable revision since first announced back in November 2017. The tower now features copper / reddish toned shading fins on its exterior, and a refined, more cohesive massing and podium. The tower also features expansive green roof decks, premium fitness facilities for office tenants, bike lockers, electric vehicle charging, high-speed elevators, and a ground level urban plaza, anchored by a restaurant, café, and retail.

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New plaza at corner of Old Yale Road & City Parkway
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Conceptual ground level floor plan
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Office tower views
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Premium fitness facilities for office tower tenants

Following the completion of the original Central City office tower and SFU campus back in 2003, Central City 2 will form the next phase of a long-term vision to redevelop the remainder of the Central City Shopping Centre site. While just conceptual at this point, the long-term plan would see the remaining parking lots to the north redeveloped with mixed-use development and new streets. The mall itself is envisioned to be reconfigured to include a number of new tower sites, and a large new plaza entrance fronting Holland Park on Old Yale Road – mirroring the existing Central City Plaza to the north and creating a connection through the mall linking the city’s civic core to Holland Park.

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Along with the recently submitted development application, Blackwood Partners has also now begun marketing the tower for lease, and will be opening a presentation centre in the Central City Shopping Centre in early 2019. The current leasing brochure can be found here.

New details released for ‘Central City 2’ office tower

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Blackwood Partners, have released new details on their upcoming ‘Central City 2’ office tower project at the corner of Old Yale Rd and King George Blvd. A new leasing brochure, available on the Central City website, provides some updated renderings, floorplans, and marketing information aimed at future tenants looking for office and retail space.

Since first being announced back in November 2017, the new renderings depict a re-designed, more refined tower, from that initially conceptualized. The new design features a stronger podium fronting Old Yale Rd and a more cohesive tower floor-plate and massing compared to the previous design. The rectangular floor plate blends into an elliptical floor plate on higher floors – referencing the existing 25-storey Central City office tower at 102 Ave & University Dr built in 2003.

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Conceptual rendering of tower podium and restaurant at corner of City Parkway and Old Yale Rd

Tower Details

Designed by Vancouver’s ZGF Architects, the project will be a 25-storey, Class AAA, mixed- use tower, containing 512,305 SF of commercial space and +/-20,000 SF of retail space contained within the podium. The ground level is conceptualized to contain 6 retail units, a restaurant, cafe, and office tower lobby, anchored to a prominent public plaza at the corner of Old Yale Rd and King George Blvd across from Holland Park and King George Station. The building will be built to LEED GoldDesign (with a pathway to Platinum), and also contain:

  • Premium end-of-trip facilities, with ample bicycle storage, executive bicycle lockers, shower, and change facilities
  • Approximately 900 underground parking stalls
  • High-speed state-of-the-art elevators
  • Electric vehicle charging stations and car share parking spaces.
  • Numerous other advanced technology features
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Conceptualized ground-level floor plan
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Artistic rendering of views from higher-level office floors
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Artistic rendering of roof-top views overlooking Holland Park
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Artistic rendering of fitness facilities for office employees

Long-term plan

Also released as part of the leasing brochure is a glimpse at the long-range plan for redevelopment of the entire Central City site following Central City 2. This plan will see much of the existing indoor shopping centre retained but renovated, with the introduction of a new prominent plaza at its south-end along Old Yale Rd, linking the shopping centre directly onto Holland Park. The existing parking lot along King George Blvd is envisioned to be broken up into a series of new city blocks, containing mixed-use high-rise development sites. A re-aligned City Parkway will connect directly through the site from the north, past a new entry plaza where Wal-Mart currently exists.

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While no target dates have been given for completion of Central City 2 – it is expected that a development application will be submitted for the project in the near future. The long-range plan for Central City is expected to play out over the next decade or longer. For more on Central City 2:

http://www.centralcity.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Tower-2-at-Central-City-Brochure-April-2018.pdf