Surrey invited to MIPIM Cannes – world’s leading property exhibition

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The City of Surrey has been invited to participate at this year’s Les Marché International des Professionels de l’immoblier (MIPIM) – taking place March 13-16 in Cannes, France. Surrey is the only Western Canadian city participating at the conference – but will be joined by Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, and the Niagara Region who will also have a presence.

MIPIM is one of the largest and most prestigious real estate conferences in the world. It has been the international stage where Toronto’s Waterfront Project and Montreal’s Downtown Arts & Entertainment District have been profiled and attracted investment. It is also where Bing Thom Architects’ won a Special Jury Award in 2004 for the Central City building – as the world’s best overall new development for its architecture and building innovation.

At this year’s MIPIM, Mayor Linda Hepner has been personally invited to speak on behalf of Surrey in a panel discussion on the topic of City as a Service, the New Urban Reality, as well as participate at a number of related events at the conference. Being invited to participate at MIPIM is an indication of Surrey’s emerging recognition as an internationally relevant city for future growth and investment.

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With more than 24,000 real estate investors from over 100 countries in attendance, MIPIM provides a unique platform for promoting Surrey globally as a place to invest, which can help to accelerate the city’s transformation. In addition to Mayor Hepner’s participation at the event, Invest Surrey & Partners will be showcasing Surrey as North America’s ‘Next Metropolitan Centre’ through a presentation centre to be located in the exhibition area of the main venue. Blackwood Partners, the owners of Central City, will also be attending to promote and attract investment in their upcoming ‘Central City 2’ office tower project.

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Invest Surrey & Partner’s presentation centre at MIPIM 2018

For more on Surrey’s invitation to MIPIM:

http://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/CR_2018-R023.pdf

The year ahead: City Centre’s rapid growth to continue in 2018

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With 2018 now upon us, it’s time for this blog’s annual look at the year ahead to forecast what’s in store over the next 12 months for development in Surrey City Centre. While the past few years have been unprecedented for not only construction in City Centre, but also for rising real estate prices and property values, 2018 shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, 2018 could prove to be another record year for construction starts and rising property values, with up to 10 new towers starting, in addition to a number of 5-6 storey projects, new parks, roads, and the Surrey Central Skytrain expansion.

Continued Construction and Expected Completions

Moving into 2018, a number of major construction projects will continue, with many seeing completion. These include:

3 Civic Plaza

City Centre’s landmark 52-storey, 3 Civic Plaza, will finally see completion in 2018, delayed from its anticipated completion date of November 2017. The project which will contain condos, a hotel, retail space, a restaurant, cafe, and a KPU campus will likely open in phases, with the Autograph-Collection Civic Hotel to open first by early spring. Around the same time, we should see the much anticipated Dominion Bar & Kitchen open, as well as Surrey’s first Prado Cafe, and some new retail along City Parkway. By summer, we should see occupancy of the condo tower, and by fall, the opening of KPU’s new City Centre campus for graduate studies.

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Prime on the Plaza

Located across from Civic Plaza at the corner of University Drive and Central Avenue (formerly 103 Ave), Prime on the Plaza topped out at 37-storeys in December 2017, and is set for completion by the end of the year. In addition to condos and street-front townhouses, the building will also bring new retail to University Drive, and open a new section of Central Avenue as well as a new rear lane.

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SFU Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building

Directly next to Prime on the Plaza, SFU’s new Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building is set to open its doors in September 2018. The project which only began construction in late 2016, has seen rapid progress over the past 12 months, which is expected to continue to meet the project’s scheduled completion date for fall 2018 classes. The late Bing Thom designed building has already become a landmark with its unique facade, featuring pre-cast concrete panels in an irregular shaped pattern.

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Evolve

In West Village, Evolve will continue to rise to its final height of 36-storeys in 2018, to become the 2nd tower in the master planned-community being developed by WestStone Group. While initially anticipated for completion in 2018, there is a chance this project could extend into 2019 given its current progress. When complete the project will contain condos as well as a 3-storey office and retail building, which will form the beginning of a new village commercial hub planned for the area around Central Avenue and 133A St.

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West Village Park & District Energy Centre

Across from Evolve at Central Avenue and 133 St, the new West Village Park & District Energy Centre continues its construction which began in 2017. The innovative new District Energy Centre will provide heat and hot water to surrounding buildings through a central facility that is fuelled by renewable energy sources. Surrounding the facility will be the new West Village Park, which has been designed as a new urban park to serve  residents of the rapidly growing and urbanizing West Village neighbourhood.

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City Centre 2

In the emerging Health & Technology District north of Surrey Memorial Hospital, Lark Group’s ‘City Centre 2’ professional building is expected to complete in early 2018. The 12-storey building is the 2nd in a series of up to 8 towers envisioned for the district, focused as a hub for medical, technology, research, and education related office tenants.

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Surrey Central SkyTrain Station expansion

The Surrey Central SkyTrain expansion project began in 2017, and is set for completion sometime in late 2018. The project will bring a new north entrance to the station at the corner of Central Ave and City Parkway directly across from the new Civic Plaza. Designed by omb Architects, the same firm responsible for the recent upgrade of Joyce Station, the new station house will feature a contemporary design with high quality materials and lighting.

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Various 5-6-Storey projects

A number of 5-6-storey projects will continue construction and complete within 2018. These new 5-6-storey buildings are helping to infill and urbanize areas throughout City Centre, and transition density from higher-density towers to lower-density single family neighbourhoods. They also provide for a diverse range of housing in the City Centre.

New Construction Starts

With many major projects wrapping up in 2018, the year ahead will mark the start of a new wave of major construction starts. 2018 could likely see the most towers under construction of any year in Surrey’s history with up to 10 new towers potentially starting this year. These include:

King George Hub

Site clearing for King George Hub began in late 2017, following selling out both of its residential towers in record time in the fall. The project will feature 40 & 29-storey condo towers, a 15-storey office tower, 2-storey stand-alone restaurant, a future LRT station, as well as over 100,000 sq.ft. of retail space integrated with a plaza. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2020.

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Park Boulevard

Concord Pacific’s 42-storey Park Boulevard tower featuring a signature lighting feature is expected to break ground in early 2018, with an estimated completion in late 2020. It will complete the Park Place plaza adjacent to King George Station.

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GEC Education Mega Centre

Set to become the 2nd tallest tower in Metro Vancouver after the Shangri-la, the 55-storey GEC Education Mega Centre is expected to start construction in 2018 on the site of the former Stardust Roller rink. The roller rink is currently under a lease extension which expires in January. Demolition and site clearning could begin soon after, likely by spring. When complete the tower will bring 55 floors of student residences, student hotel, college space, office space, and retail.  It is estimated to be completed by 2021.

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Whalley District

Tien Sher Group’s long awaited Whalley District will be a transformative project for the area of 108th Avenue & King George Blvd – the historic heart of Surrey which has become notoriously run-down in recent decades. The 3 tower project ranging from 35-46 storeys is expected to start with a 35-storey tower and 6-storey condo/retail building near Whalley Blvd & 107A Ave this year.

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Veteran’s Village

The Whalley Legion may finally see redevelopment begin in 2018 with the long-awaited Veterans Village project. The 15-storey tower, which has seen major design revisions since initially proposed, is set to house a research, rehabilitation, and care centre for veterans and their families.

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West Village 5 (44-Storey Rental)

Set to become the largest all-rental tower in City Centre, and likely the largest in Metro Vancouver, the yet-to-be-named ‘West Village 5’, will be the 3rd tower in WestStone Group’s master planned community of West Village. Construction could begin in 2018 or early 2019, around the same time that Evolve (West Village 4) wraps up construction.

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Hampton by Hilton Hotel / Condo

Receiving Preliminary Approval in 2017, with project renderings featuring a Hampton by Hilton branded hotel, this project at 98th Avenue and King George Blvd will likely see final approval in 2018, with construction possible later in the year, if not 2019. The striking design of the tower will be welcome infill for the currently vacant lot, and potentially be the 5th tower to start construction in the immediate vicinity of King George Station in 2018.

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City Centre 3

The 3rd tower by Lark Group in the new Health & Technology District will also likely see final approval in 2018. While start of construction is a possibility for later in the year, a 2019 start could be more likely. Similar to City Centre 1 & 2, this latest tower will provide 10-storeys of office space for medical, technology, and education related uses, as well as ground floor retail.

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Various 5-6-Storey projects

In addition to the tower projects starting in 2018, it is expected that the following 5-6 storey projects will also get underway:

Beginning Sales

In addition to projects starting construction in 2018, a number of other major projects are likely to begin sales, given the hot condo market in the area, and its attractiveness in affordability and value compared to Vancouver. These include:

New Announcements

Aside from all the activity of continued construction, anticipated starts, and new sales, 2018 will also certainly include many new project announcements, and more details on existing announcements, as the rapid growth and transformation of City Centre continues.

For a full list and map of all active and future projects underway in City Centre, see the Active Projects Page

A look at the first phase of Anthem Properties ‘Georgetown’

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Georgetown’s first 30-storey residential tower above grocery at 102 Ave & Whalley Blvd

Anthem Properties’ has given us a first look at the first phase of its much anticipated ‘Georgetown’ development at 102 Avenue between King George Blvd and Whalley Blvd. According to the Fall 2017 Anthem Newsletter, the project, which will include 6 residential towers in total above a mix of office, retail, and townhomes, will begin with a single 30-storey tower above a grocery store and retail at the corner of Whalley Blvd and 102 Avenue. While the render indicates a targeted construction begin date of Summer 2018, it could be more likely 2019 given the project has not yet received preliminary or final approval, and has yet to begin marketing units.

The new tower and retail will replace a standalone A&W restaurant currently on the corner, along with underutilized surface parking. The first phase will also dedicate and construct a new section of 102A Avenue through the site, connecting Whalley Blvd to King George Blvd, and eventually continue west through to the GEC Education Mega Centre and Surrey Central Station. Future phases to the north of 102A will replace the current Save-on-Foods and Canadian Tire stores with a mix of retail, residential, office, townhomes, and plaza space, along with 3 more new streets, including a new section of Central Avenue.

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Overall Site Plan for Georgetown

 

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Concept Model of Georgetown

30-storey mixed-use Hilton branded hotel approved for King George + 98 Ave

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Another hotel is coming to City Centre. On Monday, council gave third reading / preliminary approval to a proposed 30-storey mixed-use hotel, condo, and commercial building at the corner of King George Blvd and 98th Ave. Branded as a Hampton by Hilton, the hotel will occupy the building’s 6-storey podium, along with ground level commercial space including a wine bar. Above the podium will be amenity space on the 7th floor, and a residential tower rising to 30 floors. In total, the building will consist of:

  • 181 residential dwelling units
  • 112 hotel rooms
  • 8 two-storey ground oriented townhouses
  • 133 square metres (1,432 sq. ft.) of ground-level commercial space

Designed by Architecture 49, the building features a unique form and massing, high-quality architectural design features, with substantial glazing and a high quality material palette, including an abstract pixelated image of a British Columbia landscape on the podium’s curtain wall glass.

When complete in 2020, the hotel will become City Centre’s second hotel offering an alternative to the upscale 5-star Marriott Autograph Collection – Civic Hotel, which is scheduled to open in November 2017. It will serve the growing nearby medical / technology district known as Innovation Boulevard as well as the needs of other business and personal travellers to the area.

The building will be located directly across from PCI Group’s The Hub at King George project ‘Phase B’, which is expected to begin construction on its 3 towers around the same time as construction would begin on the hotel project in 2018.

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jo5uenmFor more information on the project:
http://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7916-0183-00.pdf

West Village featured in City of Surrey promotional video

A new promotional video has been posted on the City of Surrey’s YouTube channel featuring the emerging West Village neighbourhood of Surrey City Centre. Located to the west of Surrey Central Station north of 102 Ave and south of 104 Ave, West Village is a newly coined name for the area, in the midst of transformation into high density, mixed-use, green, urban neighbourhood.

Already home to a number of residential towers, West Village is poised to grow rapidly over the next decade with the addition of more residential towers, shops, offices, parks, pedestrian walkways, bike paths, a district energy centre, and an expanded Simon Fraser University. All this within close walking distance to SkyTrain, future LRT, Civic Plaza, and the city’s emerging Central Business District.

Aside from the focus on West Village, the video features a new live-action 3D rendered depiction of the future City Centre area, envisioned by 2025. While many of the future buildings shown in the video are conceptual placeholders, many others are known proposals or already under construction such as SFU’s Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building, and Weststone Group’s Evolve. Oddly however some known proposed and even under-construction buildings are absent from the film, such as the under construction Prime on the Plaza, which is shown as a vacant grass field next to SFU in the video.

The video and screenshots can be found below:

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View of future Surrey City Centre (approx. 2025)
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West Village Neighbourhood (approx. 2025)
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View looking east on future Central Ave next to under construction Evolve
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View looking west on future Central Ave towards under construction Evolve
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View of the future District Energy Centre and West Village Park
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Top down view of future West Village Park & District Energy Centre
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Future West Village Park
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View of the Central Business District
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Future pedestrianized City Parkway at Central Avenue 
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SFU Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building
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View west towards SFU and West Village
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View west along Central Avenue (Oddly missing Prime on the Plaza)

Growth in Surrey City Centre accellerating

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On Friday, an article was published in the Globe & Mail by urban politics and issues writer Frances Bula titled ‘Surrey’s vision for the future is slow in coming‘, shining a spotlight on the city centre’s transformation, that has indeed been slow in coming. Up until now.

A Brief History of Surrey City Centre – 1991-2005

The vision for Surrey’s City Centre is nothing new. The first City Centre Plan was completed back in 1991, and was only just recently updated as of January this year after a lengthy 10-year review beginning in 2006. Looking back at how the city centre has developed since that initial plan’s adoption, it’s clear to see that development through much of the 1990s and 2000’s had been sparse and slow to materialize, sparking the need for a renewed vision to move the city centre forward. Aside from an initial spike in development between 1994-1995, when SkyTrain was first extended to the area, and a total of 7 high-rise towers were completed within a short time span, the decade that followed was markedly different.

Intrawest/Intracorp initially had a master plan for a community around Gateway Station in the early 1990’s which was to include a total of 5 high-rise office towers, and 11 high-rise residential towers. 3 of these residential towers and 1 of the office towers were completed in the 1994-1995 boom, including the 18-Storey signature Station Tower. Following this initial spike, the remaining lands sat vacant for over a decade, until 3 of the initially slated high-rise residential sites were eventually developed as 4-storey condo buildings between 2008-2011. Intrawest/Intracorp has since sold of the remainder of their lands to other developers, with the initial master plan never coming to fruition.

Another 90’s master planned community which was to see a number of towers developed around King George Station saw only 1 tower built in 1994, with the remaining lands sitting vacant for over a decade as well, until eventually being bought and developed in the mid-2000’s – first as Infinity, then later evolving into Concord Pacific’s Park Place.

Completion 1991-1995:

  • 1994: Cornerstone 1 & 2 (Gateway) | 18 & 21-storey condo towers
  • 1994: Station Tower | 18-storey office tower
  • 1994: Odyssey Tower | 21-storey condo tower
  • 1994: Balmoral Tower | 15-storey condo tower
  • 1995: Grandview Court | 16-storey condo tower
  • 1995: Observatory (Gateway) | 22-storey condo tower

In the decade between 1996 and 2005, development in Surrey City Centre was indeed so slow that only 1 tower was built – the city’s iconic, Bing Thom designed, Central City office tower, completed in 2003 as part of a massive redevelopment of former Surrey Place Mall by ICBC into a re-branded shopping centre, TechBC (later SFU) university, and office tower.

Completion 1996-2005:

  • 2003: Central City – 26-storey office tower, university, retail

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Surrey City Centre’s Turning Point – 2006-2015

Following a decade of very little development activity which saw only 1 tower built between 1996 and 2005, a total of 4 new high-rise towers were built in Surrey City Centre between 2006 – 2010.

Completion 2006-2010:

  • 2006: Infinity (now Concord Park Place) | 36-storey condo tower
  • 2009: D’Corize | 22-storey condo tower
  • 2009: City Point | 21 and 25-storey condo towers with retail

In the 5 years that followed, development activity grew more. A total of 6 high/mid-rise towers were completed between 2011-2015, along side the new Surrey City Hall, the Bing Thom designed City Centre Library, and Surrey’s new civic plaza which will see future expansion.

Completion 2011-2015:

  • 2011: Park Place | 2 x 36-storey condo towers
  • 2011: Surrey City Centre Library
  • 2013: Ultra | 35-storey condo tower
  • 2013: Surrey City Hall
  • 2014: City Centre 1 | 12-storey office tower
  • 2014: Coast Capital headquarters | 9-storey office tower
  • 2015: Wave | 28-storey condo tower

In total, the 10-year period between 2006 to 2015 saw more development activity in Surrey City Centre than the previous 15 years combined, along with a new civic heart. Following a period of very little growth between 1996 and 2005, a sure sign that the tide may be changing.

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2016 and onward

Since the relocation of Surrey City Hall to the city centre in 2013, and the opening of Civic Plaza, investment in the area has markedly picked up, with a long list of active development applications now in process at the city. Following a relatively strong decade of growth between 2006 and 2015, in 2016, Surrey City Centre was showing signs of coming to fruition, and ripe for the adoption of the new Surrey City Centre Plan. In the past year, 2 towers have been completed, with 4 more scheduled for completion in 2017, and an additional 4 scheduled for completion in 2018. In 2017, this will include the iconic new 52-storey 3 Civic Plaza, Mixed-Use (Hotel, Office, Condo, University, Retail), which is already re-defining and transforming the city centre’s core and image. In total the 2016-2020 period will see a total of 12 significant buildings completed, up from 8 in the previous 5 years.

Completion 2016-2020:

  • 2016: University District (Phase 1) | Condo, Office, Retail | 32 Floors
  • 2016: Park Avenue East | Condo | 36 Floors
  • 2017: Park Avenue West | Condo | 39 Floors
  • 2017: 3 Civic Plaza | Condo, Hotel, University, Retail |52 Floors
  • 2017: Bosa’s Gateway Place |Office, Retail | 5 Floors
  • 2018: Prime on the Plaza | Condo, Retail | 37 Floors
  • 2018: Evolve | Condo, Office, Retail | 36 Floors
  • 2018: City Centre 2 | Office, Retail | 12 Floors
  • 2018: SFU Sustainable Energy / Engineering Building | 5 Floors
  • 2019 (estimated): Innovation village | Care Facility, Office, Seniors | 12 Floors
  • 2020 (estimated): Concord Park Boulevard | Condo | 42 Floors
  • 2020 (estimated): West Village Phase 5 | Rental, Office, Retail | 44 Floors

Looking ahead to 2021 and beyond, it is clear to see that the pace of growth in Surrey City Centre is only set to intensify if the number of approved and active development applications are any indication. In total, aside from buildings now under construction and scheduled for completion by 2020, beyond this there are 47 additional towers under active application or known to be in the planning stages in Surrey City Centre. While the timeline for completion of many of these towers is uncertain based on market conditions, it is likely that many will see completion within the next decade, given Surrey’s strong population growth, doubling Vancouver in growth between 2011-2016. While much of this growth has been concentrated in newer developing areas of the city such as South Surrey, South Newton, and Cloverdale, it is reasonable to assume that Surrey City Centre will start to take on a greater share of future growth as it reaches a critical threshold of density (which it appears to be now), and its subsequent image and desiraiblity improves. Combine this with the affordability crisis north of the fraser, and the comparable price of condos, Surrey City Centre begins to become more and more attractive.

With this direction that Surrey City Centre is heading, already a number of major developers in the region have significant land holdings in the area, including projects completed, under application, or in the planning stages.

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Completion beyond 2021 (Proposed and under application):

  • GEC Education Mega Centre | Student Housing, Hotel, Institutional | 50 Floors
  • University District (Phase 2) | Condo, Office, Retail | 26 + 32 Floors
  • Hub at King George | Condo, Office, Retail | 12 + 20 + 32 + 38 + 39 + 42 Floors
  • Wynd |Condo | 28 Floors
  • City Centre 3 | Office | 8 Floors
  • 13778 100 Ave | Condo | 20 + 46 Floors
  • Tien Sher 108 Ave & King George |Condo, Retail | 6 + 35 + 37 + 46 Floors
  • Old Yale & 133 St | Condo | 22 Floors
  • Seagate Gateway | Condo | 30 + 37 Floors
  • Holland Point | Condo, Office Retail | 30 + 36 + 41 Floors  
  • 98th & King George | Condo, Hotel | 30 Floors
  • 9677 King George | Care Facility, Office | 18 Floors
  • Anthem Properties | Condo, Office, Retail | 7 Towers
  • 133 St & 103A Ave | Condo | 18 Floors
  • West Village Phase 6-8 | Condo, Office, Retail | 37 + 38 + 42 Floors
  • City Centre YMCA
  • Bosa University District (Future Phases) | Condo, Retail | 5 Towers
  • Bosa Gateway Place (Phase 2-3) | Condo | 2 Towers
  • Veterans Village / Whalley Legion | Care Facility, Office | 20 Floors
  • SFU Expansion (Phases 2-3)

This list will of course continue to grow as new applications are submitted.

For an active list and map of Surrey City Centre projects, see the UrbanSurrey Active Projects Page


Updated May 10, 2017