CLOVERDALE — When it comes to town centres, Cloverdale has something that sets it apart from the others, despite its unique challenges, Don Luymes says.
“Cloverdale’s brand has really been resilient,” the City of Surrey’s manager of planning told a business luncheon crowd Tuesday at Elements Casino. “It’s really unique and I think it has excellent bones to build on to be a really unique destination.”
Luymes was at the newly renovated casino to update businesses on the city’s plans for change in Cloverdale’s town centre.
Luymes said 99 per cent of people surveyed said they loved living in Cloverdale but when asked about its town centre, most said it lacks a “vibe.”
“When we asked people what they wanted to see in Cloverdale town centre, a lot of people talked about food, beverage and entertainment,” he said.
Business strategies along Highway 10 are also being studied closely – and may result in some big box stores in the area. Luymes said according to a market study, town centre businesses would be OK with large-format retail stores in the area along Highway 10.
“We asked our consultant to look at some key sites along Highway 10 and asked whether large-format retail on some of the vacant sites would compete with mainstreet of Cloverdale, and their feeling was that it would not compete… in fact it would bring more people into the area and there would be spillover shopping,” Luymes said.
“That was good for us to hear and really encouraged the city to think differently about some of those sites along Highway 10.”
One of the city’s first objectives, the crowd heard, is to increase density in the town centre, making it a walkable community that has a “friendly small-town feel.”
Luymes added the city also wants to maintain the strength and character of Cloverdale’s identity through urban design that “reinforces the brand” of Cloverdale.
Laurie Cavan, Surrey’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture, also took to the podium.
Cavan updated the crowd about capital projects like the Surrey Museum’s expansion, which is doubling its exhibit space for national and international exhibits.
Cavan said Cloverdale Arena’s two-sheet development should be finished by 2019, and the $2-million artificial turf field at Cloverdale Athletic Park is being designed this year and should be built in 2017.
When asked about the plans to increase density in a community that already struggles with residential parking and overcrowding of schools, Luymes acknowledged the challenges of growth but insisted the city’s growth rate is manageable.
“We’re not a sleepy cow town anymore.”