North Surrey Rec Centre to close for ‘Centre Block’ redevelopment

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A date has finally been set for the official closure of the North Surrey Recreation Centre to make way for the site’s long anticipated redevelopment. In a notice posted on the recreation centre website, the facility is planned to close in 2 phases beginning with a decommissioning of the ice rinks in early September, and finally a closure of the remaining portions of the building on December 22. Ice rink programming will move to the new North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex, set to open on September 3 near Scott Road Station. Following that in January, Aquatics programs will move to Guildford Recreation Centre, fitness and multi-purpose activities to North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex, and preschool programs to Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre.

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New North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex

While no timeline has been given for the site’s redevelopment following decommissioning, behind-the-scenes planning work has been underway for years, dating back to 2012. Since then, the City has been working with Simon Fraser University, TransLink, and various architects, planners, and consultants, on a master plan for what is known as the ‘Centre Block’ bounded by Central Avenue to the north, 102 Avenue to the south, University Drive to the west, and City Parkway to the east. Well-positioned adjacent to Surrey Central SkyTrain Station, the site forms a key link between Surrey City Hall / Civic Plaza to the north, and the Central City Complex and beyond to the south.

Back in 2013, Via Architecture prepared a ‘vision’ for what redevelopment could look like in the future. The concept envisioned a numerous mixed-use buildings for the site integrated with a transit-oriented plaza linking City Hall to Central City. The buildings would contain office, university, and retail space. The plan also envisioned:

  • A new bus layover facility to be located on 133A St behind the new SFU Engineering building.
  • A removal and re-configuring of the Surrey Central Bus Exchange – replacing the loop with a new street-oriented exchange along a realigned 102A Avenue and Central Avenue. The 2 streets would be integrated with a new Transit Plaza, designed to accommodate high pedestrian and bus passenger volumes.
Centre Block location between Civic Plaza and Central City
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Early vision for the Centre Block prepared by Via Architecture in 2013

Since the early Via Architecture vision, a more recent planning process has been underway following a Surrey City Development Corp (SCDC) RFP was filled seeking a new firm to undertake detailed master planning work for the Centre Block site. While no plans have been publicly released yet, what is expected is a major overhaul of Surrey Central Station linked with a new transit-oriented plaza connecting Civic Plaza to Central City, and integrated with over 2 million square feet of new office, university, and retail space. With such a large scale, the plan is expected to be completed in phases, with various puzzle pieces and phasing needing to take place before other phases can begin. The first of those pieces is the decommissioning and demolition of the North Surrey Recreation Centre. The second will be the construction of the new bus layover facility on 133 Street, allowing for removal of the current Bus Loop, and re-alignment of 102A Avenue through it.

With the North Surrey Rec Centre decommissioning now in sight, the pieces are finally coming together to make the Centre Block redevelopment a reality. While the project is likely to take at least a decade to build-out, we could see the start of application activity related to it in the coming year.

For more on the North Surrey Recreation Centre closing:

https://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/CR_2019-R133.pdf

SFU Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building Opens

Nearly 3 years since construction began, SFU’s new Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building officially opened today. The opening was marked with a ceremony attended by BC’s premier John Horgan, MLA’s and other guests. The 5-storey, 220,000 sq.ft. building, designed by Vancouver’s late Bing Thom, has already become a new landmark redefining the Surrey Central area.

As just the first phase in a three-phase expansion plan for SFU in Surrey City Centre, the new building will accommodate 440 full-time students, and be home to SFU’s Mechatronics Systems Engineering (MSE) program with additional space for SFU’s Technology Entrepreneurship program.

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In addition to the building itself, the development has contributed to a new high quality streetscape along University Drive with grade-separated bike lanes, benches, and a temporary corner park at 102 Avenue. The grassed corner will remain until 102A Avenue is eventually re-aligned through that space and the Surrey Central Bus Loop, as per the City Centre Plan.

 

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Current temporary corner park at 102 Avenue & University Dr
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Future re-alignment of 102A Avenue

For more on the new SFU building:

http://www.sfu.ca/sfunews/stories/2019/04/sfu-opens-new-sustainable-building-as-first-phase-of-surrey-camp.html

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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PHOTO UPDATE: Prime on the Plaza

Reliance Properties and MacDonald Development’s Prime on the Plaza is beginning to rise quickly now over University Drive. Over the past month the building’s 4-storey townhouse / retail podium has taken shape, with work on the tower floors now progressing at a rate of about 1 floor per week. With the tower now 7 floors above ground, and 30 floors left to go, it could reach it’s final height by the end of the year, in roughly 30 weeks or 8 months.

To the adjacent south of the project, SFU’s Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering Building also continues to progress quickly, with that project now 1 floor above ground for much of the site, and work beginning on the 2nd floor.

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Government Funding Announced for SFU Surrey Expansion

The much anticipated government funding for the SFU Surrey expansion was finally announced today at a much-publicized event on the Surrey campus. At the event, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Christy Clark announced Federal and Provincial funding in the amount of $45 million each to the project. This funding will go towards the already underway first phase of a 3-phase expansion of the campus, with an additional $26 million from SFU and donors to fund future phases 2 and 3 on the remaining recreation centre surface parking lots.

While today’s announcement was news to many, UrbanSurrey first reported on the SFU expansion back in early June 2016 after a development application was submitted by SFU on the subject site at University Drive and 102 Avenue. Since then, today’s announcement has revealed that the new building is on track to open in Spring 2018, and that it will house the proposed Energy Systems and Environmental Engineering Program – an interdisciplinary engineering stream that will support the clean tech and sustainable energy sector.

New renderings were also released today, similar to those posted by UrbanSurrey back in July. The Bing Thom designed building will be a great addition to the City Centre as part of a rapidly changing University Drive.

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https://www.sfu.ca/sfunews/stories/2016/sfu-moves-ahead-with-surrey-campus-expansion.html

SFU Expansion – Site Clearing

Further to the update earlier this month on the SFU expansion project, more site clearing has taken place adjacent to the project.

As of Oct 27th, trees on 3 lots to the west of the project were cleared, and the site is now being prepped for what appears to be a construction staging site for the SFU project. No development applications have been submitted on the lots, all that is known is that they are owned by the City of Surrey. When complete a new Urban Green Lane will run North-South between these recently cleared lots and the SFU project, as shown on the plan below.

With this added clearing of trees, the area west of University Drive known as West Village continues its transformation into Surrey’s first high-density urban neighbourhood.

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