Central City II to proceed to Public Hearing

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After being referred back to Staff by Council on September 16 due to a misunderstanding over building height, Central City II returned to Council tonight to receive 1st & 2nd Readings and the OK to proceed to Public Hearing in 2 weeks. No changes were made to the proposal, which will proceed based on its original 25-storey (382′) height. The re-introduced planning report included better contextual information to help convey to the Mayor and Council how the building will fit into the surrounding area, as well as the sheer volume of office space it will contain given its large floor plate. The Mayor and Council had previously sent the application back to staff, having thought the tower would be shorter than the 35-Storey residential towers across the street at King George. McCallum’s arguments included:

  • “This is not a highrise development”
  • “Twenty-five storeys in our City Centre is way too low.”
  • “The towers at King George Station across the street are taller”
  • “We have only a certain amount of land in our City Centre and it’s really important to make sure we use that land appropriately”

In reality, the 25-Storey office tower would be slightly taller than the 35-storey residential tower across the street due to differences between residential and office floor heights. Central City 2 is proposed at 382 ft. while the Infinity tower at Concord Park Place is 377 ft. Further, if Central City II were built today, it would be the 3rd tallest building in Surrey after 3 Civic Plaza (538 ft.) and Park Avenue West (393 ft.). This would not be the case for long however, with 3 other towers currently under construction exceeding the height of Central City 2. Once those are completed, Central City 2 would be the 6th tallest in Surrey, yet still at comparable height to others in the top 5.

  • 3 Civic Plaza (538 ft.)
  • One Central (438 ft.)
  • Park Boulevard (407 ft.)
  • King George Hub B1 (404 ft.).
  • Park Avenue West (393 ft.)
  • Central City II (382 ft.)
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Comparison of Surrey’s tallest towers (built & under construction) with Central City II

Height aside, the sheer volume of office space to be provided by the building will bring a significant boost to the City Centre, where demand is currently high, and vacancy low. Central City 2 is to contain 567,114sq.ft. of class AAA commercial office space, when currently there is a total of just 1.2 million in the entire City Centre. That’s adding half the current amount of office space in City Centre in a single building. In addition, the building is to contain 16,168 sq.ft. of ground floor retail and restaurant space in its large podium spanning an entire city block. A market analysis commissioned by the developer found the amount of proposed space to be adequate in meeting current demand in City Centre.

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Central City 2 (far right) along with conceptual future redevelopment of mall site
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Model of Central City 2 along with conceptual future redevelopment of mall site

More information on the proposal can be found in the planning report below:

https://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7918-0428-00(1).pdf

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

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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Central City Renovations

Central City Shopping Centre has recently announced plans and begun work on a major renovation of aging parts of its complex. As part of the initial phase, the 2-storey portion of the mall between Wal-Mart and T&T Supermarket is currently being updated with a new contemporary look featuring wood paneling around balcony areas and a wave-like feature in the atrium. It is expected that once this phase is completed, upgrades will be expanded to remaining portions of the mall in need of updates.

At present the mall is a haphazard mix of interiors dating from various eras of expansions and renovations. Some of the oldest portions have not been updated since the 90s when the mall was known as Surrey Place. This latest update should help to bring a cohesive look to the complex, and hopefully attract new tenants. Since opening in the 1960’s the mall has seen much transformation and numerous expansions, the most significant being the addition of SFU and the Office Tower in 2003. It is hoped that this latest renovation will help to attract new tenants to the shopping centre which has seen a resurgence of activity lately, with the mall now busier than it’s been in over a decade thanks to the mix of uses in the complex. The Central City leasing brochure currently shows a large section in the centre of the mall where a corridor used to be as up for lease. It’s anticipated that a future phase of renovations will involve the re-opening of this wing adding new retail space and improved mall connectivity.

Beyond this current wave of renovation there remains the potential for even further evolution of the complex, particularly where surface parking now exists along its King George Blvd frontage, as well as its frontage facing Holland Park along Old Yale Rd. These two sides of the mall hold tremendous opportunity for re-development and transformation of the shopping centre as Surrey City Centre grows, and Central City evolves into Surrey’s key downtown destination shopping centre.

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npyknqvhttp://www.centralcity.ca