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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25-Storey ‘The Holland’ heads to Council

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Townline’s upcoming project ‘The Holland’ on Old Yale Rd at 133 St near Holland Park is heading to Council Monday for 1st & 2nd readings. The 25-storey condo tower has been under application since 2014, but is finally moving forward after years on hold.

According to the Planning Report to Council, the tower and its base of townhomes are to be Phase 1 of a two-phased development of the site, which includes 4 properties along Old Yale Rd between 133 St and University Dr. The 25-storey phase 1 will occupy the western portion of the site, with a future Phase 2 to replace the existing 6-storey Kinsman Place Lodge on the eastern portion of the site. The Kinsman Place Lodge is a care facility currently operated by Fraser Health, scheduled to close in March 2019.

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Subject Site at Old Yale Rd & 133 St
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3D View of Subject Site containing existing Kinsman Place Lodge

In total, the development is proposed to contain 250 units, consisting of 145 one-bedroom units and 96 two-bedroom units within the 25-storey tower, and 9 townhouse units in a 3-storey base along Old Yale Rd and 133 St. The development will also dedicate and construct the start of a new north-south road between Phase 1 and the existing Kinsman Place Lodge (future phase 2) – helping to achieve the goal of a finer-grained road network in the City Centre.

In exchange for density, the developer is proposing an enhanced public realm along Old Yale Rd reflecting its heritage as one of Surrey’s earliest roads. This is to include 2 new corner plazas at either end of the development, as well as an increased setback from the street, double sidewalks, enhanced tree planting and landscaping, high quality surface materials, and the use of heavy timber cedar benches reflecting the logging history of the area.

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Proposed Landscape Plan containing enhanced public realm along Old Yale Rd
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Elevation of proposed 25-storey tower along Old Yale Rd
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East and West elevations of proposed tower

A sales centre for the tower is expected to open across the street from the site to the south of Old Yale Rd in the fall, with construction expected to begin in 2019, and completion / occupancy targeted for Spring 2021.

For more on the application:

https://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7914-0208-00.pdf