New distribution centre makes ‘commitment’ to Surrey

SURREY – A 90,000-square-foot lumber and building material distribution centre is crediting the City of Surrey with attracting the company to its new location near Highway 10 and 152nd Street.

Bernie Owens, TIM-BR Mart group president, said the modern facility is more than just a sign of commitment to its members and vendors.

"It is a commitment to the City of Surrey, a commitment that we’ll provide a viable source of employment for its citizens today and invest in the City’s economic future of tomorrow," he said.

Grant Harris, national logistics manager for Chalifour Canada, said that occupancy costs were too high in Vancouver and Burnaby, making Surrey ideal for a new warehouse.

"It’s central to the highways, the ferries, the new highway systems all over the Lower Mainland support that as well. It’s central for our dealers, too," he said. "For our customers to pick up, our vendors to deliver their goods."

Harris said most of their 40 employees live in Surrey or areas immediately adjacent.

Surrey Coun. Bruce Hayne, who was on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday (Sept. 16), said Surrey is a rapidly growth community due to low home and business taxes.

"We’re growing at over a thousand people a month to live here and to make this their home," he said. "One of the key things for Chalifour is this is really strategically located for distriubution and logistics companies."

Hayne mentioned the benefit of Surrey’s close proximity to two U.S. border crossings, the South fraser Perimeter Road, railways, and the deep sea Deltaport.

Anita Huberman, CEO for Surrey Board of Trade, said the arrival of companies like Chalifour is due directly to the Build Surrey campaign. Launched in 2005, the city has seen 15,000 new businesses and $11 billion in new construction activity since that time.

"That 2005 program still exists today and it has actually created a foundation for us for business attraction, jobs creation, everything that we need to ensure an economically healthy city," she said.

Chalifour has five warehouses and offices in B.C., Ontario, and Quebec. The company is the recipient of the 2014 BSIA Orion Award for Supplier Company of the Year.

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