Innovation Village focuses on seniors

WHALLEY – The WestStone Group is planning a $250-million threebuilding development across King George Boulevard from Surrey Memorial Hospital.


Nestled within the borders of Innovation Boulevard, the five-acre proposal, dubbed Innovation Village, includes two six-storey buildings for seniors’ independent living (202 units); a 12-storey mixed-use medical building with 220 complex care and assisted-living units; and a senior’s medical research centre and offices.


All told, the buildings would provide 556,000 square feet of living and working space.


"Surrey is B.C.’s fastest growing city, and with that comes a need for livingspace and medical resources for its rapidly aging population," says Robert Dominick, VP of WestStone. "Space for senior’s independent living and medical research is becoming increasingly dire."


The proposed development will be scooter friendly, according to WestStone, and the company also notes it will be adjacent to the expected Light Rail Transit system along King George.


The site being developed, 9525 King George Blvd., is currently home to a trailer park that has experienced flooding issues on a regular basis due to a collapsed culvert built in the ’60s.


The company says it plans to rebuild and enhance the creek, return 1.35 acres of public parkland to the city and provide a transition channel to spawning salmon which has been inaccessible for the past three decades.


Tenants of the trailer park were notified of the development permit application this week, according to WestStone.


Jonquil Hallgate is executive director of Surrey Urban Mission, which operates out of a building 12 blocks down King George Boulevard from the proposed development, and she’s concerned the city will be losing affordable housing stock, instead of gaining, as it should be.


"The issue is always, where will people go who are living in places they can afford to live – or barely afford to live – when spots are taken away?" She noted Surrey doesn’t have a plethora of space for mobile homes.


"And if you own a mobile home, where can you transport it to if you’re living in poverty? You can’t afford to have to do that," she said.

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