City Centre 3 breaks ground in new Health & Technology District

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Lark Group held a ground breaking ceremony yesterday for their next phase in the Health & Technology District – City Centre 3. The new 10-storey office building will be the latest in a series of 8 planned buildings for the district, home to a network of academics, entrepreneurs, multinational companies, start-ups, and some of the most advanced digital health, wellness, technology, and clinical service organizations in the world.

Situated directly across the street from Surrey Memorial Hospital at 96 Avenue and 137A Street, the tower will contain offices, retail and restaurant services, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, secure underground parking, and a common area rooftop terrace. Completion is expected by 2021.

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The ground breaking ceremony was attended by the newly elected Mayor Doug McCallum, as well as a number of Councillors, representatives from Lark Group, and business leaders involved in the Health & Technology District. While McCallum praised the District as playing “a major contributing role to the economic growth of Surrey” he of course failed to recognize that due to his government’s action, the district will no longer be receiving a rapid transit station as was planned for 96 Avenue with LRT. It’s unfortunate that this significant and growing employment, research, and medical hub will now continue to be serviced by a small bus stop at 96 Avenue and King George Blvd so that SkyTrain can be built along Fraser Hwy serving low density suburban neighbourhoods instead.

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Formerly planned rapid transit station at 96 Avenue in the Health & Technology District that will no longer be built
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Health & Technology District bus stop that will remain as a result of switch to SkyTrain on Fraser Hwy instead

The Health and Technology District is being developed by Lark Group in anticipation of the rapidly growing health and technology sector in B.C. The District has already attracted a large number of innovative health, education and technology organizations to its first 2 buildings – City Centre 1 & 2 – and is becoming a new epicentre for BC’s emerging technology economy.

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View of Health & Technology District along 96 Avenue
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City Centre 3 at 96 Avenue & 137A Street
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Looking north along 137A Street

City Centre 2 opens in Health & Technology District

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Lark Group’s City Centre 2 held its grand opening today following the completion of the 185,000 square-foot, 12-storey LEED Gold certified office building. City Centre 2 is the second of 8 phases in Lark Group’s vision for an emerging Health & Technology District also referred to as ‘Innovation Boulevard’ just to the north of Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Anchoring City Centre 2 will be Surrey-based Safe Software, who will occupy the top five floors of the tower. Their brand new office space includes a state-of-the-art 4,000 square-foot cafeteria, a 6,000 square-foot roof-top garden terrace and green space with a multi-level deck and walking path, a well as a fully equipped fitness centre and amenities for their employees. Illuminated signage for Safe Software was installed on the top of the tower earlier this year.

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In a speech at today’s opening ceremony, Lark Group president Larry Fisher indicated that construction could be underway on City Centre 3 as early as this summer.

Whalley Legion redevelopment ‘Veterans Village’ gets another redesign

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View looking south-east at corner of City Parkway and new 106A Ave

New renderings were released this week of Lark Group’s upcoming ‘Veteran’s Village’ project – set to replace the existing Whalley Legion at 106 Ave & City Parkway. This latest design is the 4th redesign to be released publicly since the project was first announced back in 2015.

Design Progression

Initially, in 2015, the project was to feature twin towers resembling the Vimy Ridge Memorial in France. The design, by Michael Green Architecture, was noted to be conceptual at the time, and later proved to be a bit ambitious of an undertaking for the project.

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2015 design for Veterans Village

In late 2016, a new design was revealed for the project, scaling it back to a single building of lesser height, and less iconic of architecture, yet still featuring reference to the Vimy Ridge Memorial, and situated on a site surrounded by expansive plaza space.

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2016 design for a single tower project

A year later, in November 2017, an application was finally submitted for the project, but based on yet again, another redesign. This time, the project appeared to be scaled back even more. Much of the plaza space depicted in early designs had been eliminated, and the building’s architecture further simplified.

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2017 Rendering looking east from City Parkway

Now, as of April 2018, a radical redesign has been released, showing a return to a 2-tower project, with a much more iconic, urban, and architecturally forward design. The tower has retained its reference to the Vimy Ridge Memorial through a creatively designed facade, and now fills out the block that it occupies in a much more urban form. Wide sidewalks are depicted on both City Parkway and 106 Avenue with double rows of boulevard trees – in what looks to be intended as a quasi plaza space at the base of the tower, integrated with the sidewalk. The tower heights have also changed – with the main tower depicted at 21 storeys and the tower behind at 27 storeys.

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2018 design for Veteran’s Village looking north-east at corner of City Parkway and 106 Ave
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Project location with City Centre Plan

With this return to a 2 tower design, it is unclear whether the 2nd tower is an envisioned 2nd phase – or if both will be built at the same time and also serve the same use purposes. From Lark Group’s website, the project is described as the first of its kind in Canada, and will be:

A multi-purpose facility designed as a centre of excellence in clinical and rehabilitation services for Veterans and first responders, with a mix of social and affordable housing.  It will include space for research and delivery of health care programs, services and trauma counselling to address issues like PTSD. It will also provide clinical spaces to advance evidence-based services and programming in health, science and engineering, including innovations in robotics, assistive devices and exoskeletons for injured Veterans and first responders.

With the latest rendering release, it appears the project is getting closer to its final design, and it’s likely that it could appear before Council for preliminary approval in the coming months. Based on this, the project is likely to begin construction sometime in 2019.

New renderings released for City Centre 3

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.

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3D VR Render released of Innovation Boulevard – Health & Technology District

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A 360 VR rendering has been released by Vancouver-based VR/AR company Stambol Studios, which specializes in creating “hyperrealistic immersive experiences”. According to their website, Stambol also has an office in the very Health & Technology District featured in the 360 VR rendering.

In the 360 VR rendering which can be found here, a glimpse is given into the future of the emerging Health & Technology District at the south end of City Centre near 96th Avenue and 137 St. The hyperrealistic rendering shows the existing City Centre 1, and currently under construction City Centre 2 buildings, along with the recently approved City Centre 3 – all by the developer Lark Group.

The rendering also provides a first glimpse at a future phase of the district, presumably City Centre 4 & 5, shown north of City Centre 2 along 137 St. These towers appear to be taller than their predecessors, and also have a shared podium, suggesting they would be built as a single phase. Lark Group was quoted in a Business in Vancouver article back in March, to have plans for up to 8 towers in the district, which spans from Surrey Memorial Hospital north to Fraser Hwy.

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Looking north on 137 St from City Centre 3 towards City Centre 1, 2 and future phase.
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Future Health & Technology District phase to north of City Centre 2
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Future Health & Technology District phase to north of City Centre 2
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View looking north from 96th Ave & 137th St towards City Centre 3

https://www.stambol.com/webvr-360/health-tech-district/

Lark Group’s ‘City Centre 3’ Proceeds to Council

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Lark Group‘s 10-storey ‘City Centre 3’ development across from Surrey Memorial Hospital is set to appear before Council on Monday, September 11 for 1st & 2nd readings. The project is the 3rd in a series of towers being developed by Lark Group as part of the emerging medical, technology district dubbed Innovation Boulevard. The tower follows the 12-storey ‘City Centre 1’ completed in 2014, and the currently under construction 12-storey ‘City Centre 2’. A Business in Vancouver article published earlier this year indicated that Lark Group has plans for up to 8 towers in total for the area, envisioned to become a “Stanford University type” medical / research hub.

Like its predecessors, City Centre 3 will provide office space for a mix of medical offices, research, and tech firms, along with ground-floor retail. It will also provide space for a new private surgical centre. The development is seeking both OCP and City Centre Plan amendments from 3.5 FAR to 5.5 FAR, as well as Rezoning and Development Permit. Designed by Wensley Architecture Ltd., the building offers a striking design and will be a welcome addition to the growing cluster of mid-rise towers in the quickly urbanizing area at the south end of Surrey City Centre.

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