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Surrey's downtown plan to start taking shape in 2019 with development boom

Surrey City Centre. (Source: City of Surrey)

Major development plans for Surrey City Centre are expected to get underway in 2019

A development boom could drastically change the face of the area

A 2017 city plan sets major growth for the area, plans to make Surrey City Centre into a downtown core

SURREY (NEWS 1130) — This could be a big year when it comes to development in Surrey.

Major changes are on the way and will change the future of the Surrey City Centre with dozens of development projects already in the works. The centre is slated to be transformed into a downtown core as part of master plan approved by city council back in 2017.

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Stephen Hallingham with UrbanSurrey.com says Surrey has grown rapidly in the last few years since City Hall re-located to the area in 2013.

“There’s been a build up to this year, and a lot of stuff is finally getting through the process at City Hall. I would expect to see a record number of construction starts this year in the city centre,” he says.

More residential towers will be part of this process as the city tries to keep up with rapid population growth. So far, he’s counted at least 12 high-rises that could begin this year, as well as four- to six-storey low-rise projects.

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Compared to the last five years, he says more people are moving to the area, adding developers are more than happy to fill the void in housing.

“The population is growing, Surrey’s going to keep growing,” he says. “You have to house people, and density is a smart way to do it.”

He says it’s just a sign of what’s to come, adding the next five to 10 years will likely bring big changes to Surrey.

In 2018, at least 23 new development applications were submitted for the City Centre alone, which would include 21 high-rises and 10 low-rises.

Changes part of City plan

The development boom is part of the City’s plans to transform the area into a downtown core. The Surrey City Centre Plan, passed by council in 2017, is meant to create a transit-oriented, “walkable” downtown core. Previous plans to build light rail transit in the area were part of it.

City plans say the region will be an area for major employment and services, higher-density housing, as well as for commercial, cultural, entertainment activity.

Building high-density residential buildings, as well as diverse types of housing and employment hubs close to transit is part of the plan’s overarching goals to make the area into a downtown core.