In a growing city like Surrey, it’s hard to keep track of all the development.
But there are a few major projects that could materialize in 2018.
It’s possible the old Public Market property could be revitalized next year.
The long-dormant Surrey Public Market building, built in the 1990s at the corner of 64th Avenue and King George Boulevard, was torn down in September.
“It’s happening. After nearly 2 decades abandoned, the Surrey Public Market is coming down,” longtime Newton resident Jude Hannah posted on Facebook. She shared a video that showed the structure being ripped apart by an excavator.
The site has seen numerous development applications over the years, but none had followed through – until this year.
Two developments on the property have been given the green light by Surrey city council.
If built as planned, the two developments would mean 118 apartments and 40 townhouses at the busy Surrey corner, in addition to 25,000 square feet of commercial space, including a bank and a drive-through restaurant.
Heading down King George Boulevard to Whalley, another busy area may see revitalization begin in 2018.
Charan Sethi received approval from Surrey City Council in June for his Whalley Flamingo Block redevelopment.
City council describes the project as “innovative” and “critical” to the area’s revitalization.
The Tien Sher development, at 13665 107A Ave. and 10740 and 10768 King George Blvd., would see a 35-storey high-rise and six-storey building constructed during the first phase of the project.
Just blocks away from that development is another massive project planned for the area.
This past Remembrance Day marked the last year the ceremony would be held at the old Whalley Branch 229 of the Royal Canadian Legion as the $60-million “Veterans Village” nears groundbreaking.
Veterans Village plans include a “centre of excellence,” where veterans, soldiers and emergency first-responders will be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health-related concerns.
The village will also include a research and rehabilitation centre focusing on robotics and devices to help amputees, exoskeletons, and neuroscience as well as temporary housings for patients and their families, a healing garden and new legion lounge.
The Veterans Village project is expected to be brought before Surrey city council for consideration in February.
Seeing as the property neighbours 135A Street’s growing tent city, this project could massively alter the neighbourhood dynamics.
But, so too would 150 modular homes that are set to land in Whalley on or near 135A Street. They would be to help house the many homeless people living in tents in the area.
While Mayor Linda Hepner had hoped the province would have them operational by winter, they have yet to materialize.
Hepner hopes they will arrive in the first few months of 2018.
And could LRT construction begin in 2018? That remains to be seen, but the Newton business community, for one, eagerly awaits that news.
“We’ve all been promised revitalization because of LRT,” Newton BIA director Philip Aguirre told the Now-Leader in September.
Aguirre has concerns that LRT plans are “even murkier because of the removal of the tolls.”
Mayor Linda Hepner, too, has become frustrated awaiting funding confirmation from higher government.
In September she urged the province to “hurry up” and sign off on the project officially.
Hepner says if the new NDP government doesn’t sign off on technology for phase two of Surrey’s LRT line, the costs of the already $2.2-billion project may rise.
“We can’t do work on procurement until the province says they agree to the technology choice of the Mayor’s Council,” she told the Now-Leader.
She’s referring to the preferred option for the Fraser Highway portion of the planned 27-kilometre light rail system.
The province has not signed off on whether that line should be SkyTrain or LRT, she said, despite the Mayor’s Council endorsing light rail, she said.
“It’s so important because when we go out for procurement for a 10-kilometre system as opposed to the full 27-kilometre system that includes that Fraser Highway line, the costs come in different, the global interest is different… all those pieces that could save us money or make the project more attractive to big on are lost if we don’t have a definitive answer.”
Hepner said she’s “made those pleas to hurry up.”
So, we wait.
In Cloverdale, a $15.7-million Surrey Museum expansion project is underway.
It’s set to be complete in September 2018.
The expansion project will add 12,000 square feet of space to the museum’s current footprint, tripling the size of the Kids Explore Zone, creating an Indigenous Hall, to be completed by collaborating with Surrey’s Indigenous communities, and making room for a feature gallery that will be able to host national and international exhibitions.
As a part of the expansion project, the 126-year-old Anniedale School and the 1881 Townhall will be moved to the museum site to join the Anderson Cabin and create a “Heritage Campus.” The campus will also include the Surrey Archives, which operates out of the 1912 Municipal Hall, the Cloverdale Library and Veteran’s Square.