Whalley Legion redevelopment ‘Veterans Village’ gets another redesign

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.

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.

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.

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.

2018 design for Veteran’s Village looking north-east at corner of City Parkway and 106 Ave
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.

Veterans Village gets a Re-Design

Further to news earlier this month on the moving forward of the Veterans Village Project, on the site of the Whalley Legion, more details were released late last week showing a major re-design of the project.

The previous concept prepared by Michael Green Architecture for a twin-tower development has since been replaced by a single, ‘stepped’ tower concept over what appears to be a 2-storey podium. In addition, a large portion of the site is shown to be dedicated as an open plaza/park space, forming what would be Surrey’s equivalent to Victory Square in Downtown Vancouver. The proposed plaza would provide a new space for Remembrance Day ceremonies in Surrey and serve as a permanent memorial space.

Despite the reduced scope of the project from a twin tower concept to a single tower, the project continues to take design inspiration from the twin tower Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. As depicted in the concept, the tower features 2 red decorative beams running up the height of the tower, reminiscent of the memorial. Still no confirmation on height, however a Surrey Now article mentions a height of between 16-28 storeys.

While no application has yet been submitted on the project, the developer Lark Group, hopes to begin site preparation and construction by as early as Spring 2017. The project is said to still be seeking funding sources, some of which could come through Federal Infrastructure funding, currently being lobbied for.


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Whalley Legion Twin Tower ‘Veterans Village’ project moves forward

Initially announced back in the Fall 0f 2015, the Whalley Legion Veterans Village project took a major step forward today, announcing a partnership with Surrey-based developer Lark Group, to develop twin towers on the site of the existing Whalley Legion at 13525 106 Ave.

As per the news release, the twin tower project of unspecified height will be a multi-purpose facility and a centre of excellence in clinical and rehabilitation services for Veterans and first responders. It will offer a mixture of social and affordable housing, assisted living, a therapeutic centre, community gardens, research centre, and space for the delivery of health care programs and services.

The news release states that the next step in the process is to work with Lark Group to finalize the scope of the project, and it is expected that site preparations and construction could be underway by spring 2017. This timeline seems ambitious given there has yet to be a development application submitted for the project, and given the time necessary to move the application through the approvals process. With Lark Group as the partnering developer however, the project is now very likely to move forward, given Lark Group’s experience in developing large projects in Surrey, most notably the City Centre 1 and City Centre 2 office towers adjacent to Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Aside from being a major redevelopment of the Whalley Legion itself, the iconic twin tower concept for the project designed by Michael Green Architecture could be a catalyst for rejuvenation of the area between 104th Avenue and 108th Avenue. The project is located directly adjacent to Surrey’s notorious 135A “Strip”. So far not many details have been released on the towers themselves, only that the design is conceptual, and that it will be greater than 20 storeys in height. When complete, the facility will be the first of its kind in Canada.





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