December City Centre Update

The December Issue of the City Centre Monthly Update is now out at SurreyCityCentre.ca. This month’s newsletter includes a round-up of new Development Applications, Council Approvals, and Construction activity over the past month.

New Development Applications

Four new major development applications were submitted within City Centre during the past month of November 2020, bringing the total number of major projects under initial review to 34. This represents approximately 27 HighRises (<6-Storeys) and 19 Low-Rises (4-6 Storeys).

10744 City Parkway (20 – 0284)

A Rezoning, Subdivision, OCP Amendment, City Centre
Amendment, and Development Permit application has
been submitted for a site located between City Parkway
and 136A St just south of 108 Ave near Gateway
Station. The application is proposing to consolidate 5
currently vacant lots into 1 new lot in order to develop
541 residential units and 68,000 sq.ft. of office space.

9492 134 St (20 – 0286)

A Rezoning, Subdivision, and Development Permit
application has been submitted for a site located at
the corner of 134 St and 95 Ave at the south-west
edge of City Centre near Queen Elizabeth Secondary.
The application is proposing to consolidate 3 existing
single family lots into 1 new lot in order to develop
a 6-storey residential building containing 140 units,
including ground-level townhouse units fronting 134 St.
The application is the 4th project now underway in the
small block bounded by 134 St to 135 St and 94A Ave to
95 Ave, all proposing 6-storey residential.

10474 132 St (20 – 0290)

A Rezoning, Subdivision, and Development Permit
application has been submitted for a site located on the
corner of 132 St and 105 Ave on the western edge of
City Centre across from Kwantlen Park Secondary. The
application is proposing to consolidate 3 existing Single
Family lots (1 vacant) into 1 new lot in order to develop
a 6-storey residential building containing 135 units.
The site is just north of 3 other applications currently
underway within the same block propsosing a mix of
low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise residential.

9611 140 St (20 – 0291)

A Rezoning, Subdivision, OCP Amendment, City Centre
Plan Amendment, and Development Permit application
has been submitted for a site located at the corner of
140 St and 96 Ave at the eastern edge of City Centre
across from Green Timbers Park. The application is
proposing to consolidate 2 existing single family lots
into 1 new lot in order to develop a 30-storey residential
tower containing 196 units, plus 73 seniors housing
units. The site is located just south of the future 140 St
SkyTrain Station at Fraser Highway.

Council Approvals

Five major projects received approval from Council during the past month of November, joining 23 other projects with pre-existing approvals. This brings the total number of approved projects to 28, representing 37 High-Rises (<6-Storeys) and 17 Low-Rises (4-6 Storeys).

Q5 (19 – 0145)

This 6-storey market residential project by Tien Sher
at 108 Ave & 138 St received 3rd Reading (Conditional
Approval) on Novermber 9. It is to become the fifth and
final building as part of the Quattro development, which
saw its first building completed in 2010.

King George Hub Plaza One & Two (18 – 0362)

The final phase of King George Hub by PCI
Developments received Development Permit approval
on November 9. The project includes 41 & 44-Storey
market residential towers (886 units) above ground
level retail (22,497 sq.ft.) and office (22,970 sq.ft.).
Expected completion is 2025.

Parks & Yards (18 – 0276)

This project by Rize originally received 3rd Reading
for a 30-storey market residential tower, and heritage
revitalization office podium on King George Blvd just
north of 96 Ave in April 2019. Rize has since revised the
application to consist of a 38-storey rental residential
tower (392 units) above a revitalized heritage office &
retail podium. The revised project received 3rd Reading
(Conditional Approval) on November 23. Expected
completion is 2025.

Concord City Parkway (19 – 0214)

Concord Pacific’s latest Surrey project received 3rd
Reading (Conditional Approval) on November 23. The
project is to consist of a pair of stepped 33 & 40-storey
market residential towers (1,014 units) with distinctive
curved floorplates at City Parkway and 105 Ave.
Expected completion is 2025.

Laurel Gardens (18 – 0322)

This 5 & 6-storey market residential project by New
Star Development received 3rd Reading (Conditional
Approval) on Novermber 23. Located between 96
Ave & Laurel Dr near 140 St, the project will replace a
number of existing single family homes in a densifying
area at the south-east corner of City Centre near the
future 140 St SkyTrain Station. Expected Completion is
2024.

Construction

One major project entered construction during November
2020, joing 15 others already under construction bringing
the total to 15 high-rise towers (>6 Storeys) and 5 low-rises
(4-6-storeys).

Briza (13 – 0285)

This 5-storey residential project located on the western
edge of City Centre at 132 St and 106 Ave began
construction in November, after having received 3rd
Reading (Conditional Approval) back in October 2014.
The project will include 65 market condo units with a
townhouse base along 132 St, and is expected to be
completed by 2023.

Briza – now under excavation at 132 St & 106 Ave
Georgetown One under construction at Whalley Blvd & 102 Ave
Parker by Mosaic under construction at 105 Ave & 139 St
The Legion Veterans Village nearing ground level at City Parkway & 105A Ave
University District parkade levels under construction at 104 Ave & University Dr
Linea nearing completion at 104 Ave & 133 St
Park George under excavation on 100 Ave
One Central nearing ground level at Central Ave & 133A St
Park Boulevard under construction on Whalley Blvd
New 98A Ave & King George intersection re-alignment taking shape at King George Hub
Central City Parkade Expansion nearing completion on University Drive

November City Centre Update

The November issue of the City Centre Monthly Update is now out at SurreyCityCentre.ca. This month’s newsletter includes a round-up of new Development Applications, Council Approvals, and Construction activity during the previous month.

New Development Applications

20-0233 (Center Block)

View from Civic Plaza of the initial phase of Centre Block – 14 + 35-Storey Office & Retail

A preliminary Rezoning and General Development Permit application has been submitted for the first phase of the much anticipated redevelopment of the North Surrey Recreation Centre site, known as ‘Center Block.’ The applicant, Surrey City Development Corporation (SCDC), is proposing 1,446,088 sq.ft. of office and commercial space, next to Civic Plaza and Surrey Central Station as part of this initial phase, which will include 2 office buildings at 14 & 35-Storeys, with retail at grade. The current application is for rezoning and master plan approval only. Separate applications will be submitted in the future for each building / phase.

The Center Block project plans to transform the city’s core with a number of new office towers, an expanded SFU campus, retail, and a new transit plaza integrated with a revamped Surrey Central Station, expected to be built over the coming decade.

20-0244 (9525 King George Blvd)

This application replaces a previously approved Seniors Living & Care Facility project known as ‘Innovation Boulevard’ originally planned for a site across from Surrey Memorial Hospital. Since failing to attract investment in that project since its approval in 2016, WestStone Group has now submitted a new application for the site. The new application is proposing a mixed-use residential, office, and retail development, which is to include 920 residential units, and 10,841 sq.ft. of commercial space.

Council Approvals

18-0443 (13245 104 Ave)

13-Storey Rental Apartment at 13245 104 Ave

This mixed rental and market residential project at 13245 104 Avenue received 3rd Reading (Conditional Approval) in October 2020. The current application included a detailed Development Permit for just Phase 1 of the project, which will include a 13-storey rental apartment building (115 Units) on the north portion of the site. Phase 2, subject to a future detailed Development Permit application, is to include a 16-storey market residential building, containing 157 units, on the south portion of the site fronting 104 Avenue.

The site is adjacent to, and will eventually become integrated, with a similar application to the east, which received Conditional Approval in September 2020 for a 21-storey rental and 26-storey market residential project.

Master Plan for adjacent rental & market residential projects at 13245 & 13264 104 Ave

19-0105 (The Holland 2)

The Holland 2 – 32-Storey Market Residential

The second phase of Townline Homes ‘The Holland’ project received Conditional Approval in October 2020. This phase will include a 32-storey market residential tower consisting of 308 units at 13333 Old Yale Rd. The first phase of the project, consisting of a 25-storey market residential tower, began construction in September 2020.

Construction

The month of October 2020 saw continued construction on 15 major projects within City Centre, including 15 high-rise towers (>6 Storeys) and 4 low-rises (6-storeys or less) representing:

  • 5,190 Residential Units
  • 312,179 Sq.ft. of Office Space
  • 164,220 sq.ft. of Retail

A 6-storey residential project at Fraser Hwy and 140 Street known as Fraser Landmark completed in October 2020.

Fraser Landmark at Fraser Hwy & 140 St completed construction in October 2020
Construction progress at King George Hub (Phase B)
King George Hub (Phase C) – 34-Storey Rental Apartments
Linea – 28-Storey Market Residential nearing completion at 133 St & 104 Ave
City Centre 3 – 10-Storey Office across from Surrey Memorial
Georgetown One – 30-Storey Residential & Retail at 102 Ave & Whalley Blvd
One Central – 44-Storey Residential under construction in West Village

Surrey City Centre: A Decade in Review

With the new year upon us, it’s time for this blog’s annual review of the past year in Surrey City Centre, as well as a look at what can be expected ahead in 2020. Additionally this year, we will also take a look back at the past decade, which saw accelerating growth and transformation in City Centre, a trend likely to persist as Surrey’s downtown becomes further established, and continues to attract more people, businesses, institutions, and jobs.

Growth in 2019

Construction activity in Surrey City Centre reached record levels in 2019, with many projects approved in previous years entering the construction phase, joining others already under construction, and others completing. Overall 2019 construction activity is summarized below:

6 significant projects began construction

  • One Central | 44 Storeys
  • Georgetown One | 30 Storeys
  • Linea | Residential | 28 Storeys
  • Veterans Village | Mixed-Use | 20 Storeys
  • Camellia | Residential | 5 Storeys
  • La Voda | Residential | 6 Storeys

7 significant projects continued construction

  • King George Hub B | Residential, Office, Retail | 15 + 29 + 40 Storeys
  • Park Boulevard | Residential | 39 Storeys
  • King George Hub C | Rental Residential | 34 Storeys
  • City Centre 3 | Office, Retail | 10 Storeys
  • Fraser Landmark | Residential | 6 Storeys
  • Maverick | Residential | 5 Storeys
  • 13904 102 Ave | Residential | 4 Storeys

8 significant projects completed construction

  • Prime | Residential, Office, Retail | 37 Storeys
  • Evolve | Residential, Office, Retail | 36 Storeys
  • Aspire | Residential | 6 Storeys
  • Porte HQ | Residential | 6 Storeys
  • SFU Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building | 5 Storeys
  • 9909 140 St | Residential | 4 Storeys
  • Surrey Central Station Expansion
  • West Village Park & District Energy Centre

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One Central under excavation at Central Ave & 133A St

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Linea by Rize under construction at 104 Ave & 133 St

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King George Hub (Phase B) under construction at King George Blvd & Fraser Hwy

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Park Boulevard under construction on Whalley Blvd near 100 Ave

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King George Hub B & Park Boulevard as seen from Fraser Hwy

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Georgetown One under excavation at Whalley Blvd & 102 Ave

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City Centre 3 by Lark Group under construction on 96 Ave

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Aspire recently completed on 101 Ave near Whalley Blvd

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Prime completed in Fall 2019 at University Dr & Central Ave

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HQ by Porte at 140 St & 105A Ave completed early 2019

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Evolve completed in 2019 at Central Ave & 133 St

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SFU Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building completed in Spring 2019

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Surrey Central Station expansion completed in Spring 2019

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West Village Park & District Energy Centre completed in Spring 2019

As for new Development Applications, 2019 saw a drop from 2018’s record number of 25 applications, to 19 new applications. This is still well above all previous years in the decade between 2010 and 2017, indicating continued strong interest from the development community in 2019. These 19 new Development Applications included approximately 21 towers (>6 Storeys) and 14 low-rises (4-6 Storeys), comprising over 7,200 units and over 300,000 sq.ft. of commercial space in 2019 applications alone.

As of January 2020, in total there are currently 65 significant active applications either under review, approved, or under construction in City Centre consisting of approximately 69 high rises (>6 Storeys) and 44 low-rises (<6 Storeys), representing approximately 23,000 units and over 1,650,000 sq.ft. of commercial space. More info on all active projects can be found on the Active Projects in City Centre page. 

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Looking ahead to 2020

2019’s drop in Development Applications from that of 2018 can perhaps be seen as symptom of the cooling real estate market from its peak in 2017. Despite this drop, Development Application activity in City Centre remains strong, and can be expected to continue in 2020 with many new projects known to be in the early planning stages, likely to submit applications within the coming year. Of these, we’re likely to find out more details on the much anticipated Centre Block redevelopment (former North Surrey Rec Centre), rumoured to include significant office space, retail, and a further expansion of SFU, all integrated within a new transit plaza and revamped Surrey Central Station.

Aside from this, construction activity in 2020 can be expected to include:

7 significant project construction starts

  • University District | Residential, Retail | 28 + 37 Storeys
  • Park George | Residential | 35 + 39 Storeys
  • The Holland (Phase 1) | Residential | 25 Storeys
  • Central City II | Office | 25 Storeys (Potential late 2020 start)
  • Centra | Residential | 23 Storeys
  • Rosewood | Residential, Office | 5 Storeys
  • Parker | Residential | 4 Storeys

10 significant projects continued construction

  • One Central | 44 Storeys
  • King George Hub B | Residential, Office, Retail | 40 + 29 + 15 Storeys
  • Park Boulevard | Residential | 39 Storeys
  • King George Hub C | Rental Residential | 34 Storeys
  • Georgetown One | 30 Storeys
  • Linea | Residential | 28 Storeys
  • Veterans Village | Mixed-Use | 20 Storeys
  • City Centre 3 | Office, Retail | 10 Storeys
  • Camellia | Residential | 5 Storeys
  • La Voda | Residential | 6 Storeys

3 significant projects expected completion

  • Fraser Landmark | Residential | 6 Storeys
  • Maverick | Residential | 5 Storeys (Potential late 2020 completion)
  • 13904 102 Ave | Residential | 4 Storeys

Aside from this, we can also expect to find out more details on a number of high profile applications currently in the initial stages of review as they proceed to Council in 2020, such as:

  • Bosa’s upcoming 104 Ave & City Parkway project
  • King George Hub (Phase D)
  • Plaza 104 redevelopment
  • Holland Parkside by Century Group
  • A revised proposal for the GEC Education Mega Centre

Moving beyond 2020, it’s likely we will see an even further acceleration of the strong growth trend, as 2018 and 2019’s record development applications enter the construction stage, and other yet-to-be announced transformative projects begin to take shape. Accompanying this will be the extension of SkyTrain to Langley by the mid-to-late decade, which should further position Surrey City Centre as a regional downtown, within closer commuting distance to the rapidly growing Fraser Valley than Downtown Vancouver. With all this growth, Surrey City Centre is shaping up to become a remarkably different place by the end of the 2020’s than it is today, with more transformation likely in the coming decade, than in the past, or even past two combined.

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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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

Concord Pacific an applicant in pair of submissions for towers on 105 Ave

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Two separate Development Applications have been submitted for a pair of projects between University Dr & City Parkway and 105 Ave & 105A Ave, just to the south of the BC Lions Training facility.

According to Surrey’s COSMOS, the application on the westerly block is to allow for 873 residential units (approximately 2 towers above podiums), while the application on the easterly block is to also allow for 2 towers above podiums with no unit count given. The applications are also proposing OCP and City Centre Plan amendments to re-designate the sites from 3.5 FAR to 5.5 FAR to allow for increased density. Interestingly, the applicant on the easterly site is listed as Concord Pacific – indicating a new venture for them in Surrey City Centre, to follow their existing ‘Park’ development near King George. The applicant on the westerly site is listed as IBI Group, although the applications could be related.

The subject sites have been vacant grassed lots for decades, and are bisected by the SkyTrain guideway between Surrey Central Station and Gateway Station. While the area may feel vacant now, just to the south across 105 Avenue, Bosa’s 28 & 37-storey University District towers are expected to begin construction within the next year. Also just to the north at City Parkway and 106 Avenue, Lark Group’s 20-story Legion Veteran’s Village project is now under construction.

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Site looking north-east from University Dr & 105 Ave

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Site looking south-east from University Dr & 105A Ave

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Site looking south from 105A Ave

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Site looking south-west from 105A Ave & City Parkway

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Site looking north from 105 Ave

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Site’s within City Centre Plan

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Birds-eye view of Sites