Jaret Lang from Surrey City Development Corp. answers questions from the floor at last week’s update on Cloverdale West Village held at the Cloverdale Legion.

It’s complicated: Cloverdale residents updated on mall redevelopment plans

Plans progress slowly for Cloverdale Mall development, but there are cautious signs of hope

For five years and counting, it’s been the number-one question for residents and businesses alike: what’s happening with the Cloverdale Mall site?

About 30 people turned out for last week’s update on Cloverdale West Village, where Surrey City Development Corp. officials and business leaders struck a conciliatory-sounding tone for the most part.

The dilapidated mall was torn down in 2011 in order to redevelop the former City of Surrey property in phases as a blend of commercial and residential units called Cloverdale West Village.

Those plans stalled when environmental contamination from a former dry cleaner was discovered, ushering in remediation efforts even as site servicing work got underway, leading to a sense of frustration in the historic town centre.

Ongoing remediation efforts to clean up soil contamination have delayed the project, but SCDC officials are optimistic progress is being made and that two phases will be completed within five years.

“This has been a very complex site,” Coun. Dave Woods said at a Nov. 17 meeting at the Cloverdale Legion, called at his urging after an SCDC open house in Cloverdale last month was sparsely attended by the public. “They inherited a whole bunch of problems.”

Remediation is expected to be complete in September 2016, and two developers are actively working with SCDC on development plans.

The initial phase was to have housed a new hall for Cloverdale Legion Branch 6 along with new commercial and residential units, but that’s no longer the case.

Instead, the Cloverdale Legion is staying put, and will soon undergo renovations that will bring it up-to-date. Meanwhile, phase one partner Townline Homes has agreed to develop the southwest corner of the site as a four-storey, residential and commercial building that’s expected to break ground in 2016.

The second developer is Mosaic, which is seriously looking to build on the section directly north of the Cloverdale Legion, a portion of the property that can’t be developed until remediation is complete.

SCDC development manager Jaret Lang gave an overview of how remediation is progressing, before opening it up to questions from the floor.

There were a number of questions about the remediation work.

Some also wondered why benches, sidewalks and street lights have been installed, even though the construction phase is still some distance away.

Lang said the city required SCDC as developers taking over the site to complete subdivision and site servicing, along with installing finishes like benches and lights in advance of development, Lang said.

“So I know it seems a little bit silly right now, and the timing hasn’t worked out so that you aren’t actually looking at a nice development,” he said.

The site – openly criticized as an eyesore by the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce and the Cloverdale BIA – recently had temporary fencing and graphics put up at SCDC’s cost, but the materials proved a poor match with recent autumn windstorms.

“To be honest, I don’t think the BIA was thinking that was going to be the result of the fencing,” Cloverdale BIA president Rob Paterson said. “We were thinking it was going to be something a lot more permanent.”

Lang promised a better solution for fencing the site is in the works, and that the property itself will be redeveloped.

“There’s a deep commitment from SCDC to make this right,” he said. “We’re spending a lot of time and money trying to make this right. It doesn’t look like it, I know.”

Paul Orazietti, executive director of the Cloverdale BIA, offered an apology on behalf of the community to SCDC.

“I think your group has made some giant leaps forward to be involved in what’s probably one of the most complicated land deals in the history of an area that I’ve ever come across,” he said, adding, SCDC has been more open and cooperative.

“You can sense that there’s a lot of frustration because this land was originally at the centre of town and it’s taken a great amount of time,” he said.

Orazietti complimented Mosaic for demonstrating a level of cooperation and interest in meeting with the community, but said the BIA was disappointed in Townline.

“They’ve been in the process for quite some time and their dialogue with the community has been virtually non-existent,” he said. “We’re working in a vacuum with them.”

A current project timeline has now been posted at scdc.ca, along with an extensive description of the ongoing remediation efforts.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dubai-based company buys Fraser Surrey Docks

Company also has ports and terminals in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Prince Rupert

Surrey Police to work with integrated teams during transition from RCMP

Terry Waterhouse says new police force will ‘collaborate’ with RCMP to maintain continuity of investigations

Solicitor General has ‘no illusions’ about acrimony over Surrey’s police transition

Farnworth wants report released to public ‘a week this coming Tuesday’

Surrey councillors ‘very disappointed’ as B.C. gives final approval of city police force

Meantime, Safe Surrey Councillor Allison Patton says she can ‘breath a sigh of relief’

Delta Hockey Academy wins WHL U.S. Challenge Cup

Canadian youth teams dominated the inaugural tournament last weekend in Kent, Wash.

Fashion Fridays: Tammy’s big makeover

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

Conservative MP questions whether rail blockades constitute terrorism

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett travelled to B.C. to meet Indigenous leaders

Lawsuit over African mine can be heard in British Columbia: Supreme Court

B.C. courts dismissed Nevsun’s attempts to make Eritrea the forum for any lawsuit proceedings

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Most Read