A rendering of the proposed development on the northern portion of the old Surrey Public Market property. (Photo: surrey.ca) A rendering of the proposed development on the northern portion of the old Surrey Public Market property. (Photo: surrey.ca)

Looking ahead to 2018: Significant developments to watch in Surrey

Large-scale building projects are in the works, including a Veterans Village and revitalization of the old Surrey Public Market site

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.

See also: Surrey Public Market building being ripped down by excavator

See also: Top 10 B.C. videos of 2017

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(Image from video of Surrey Public Market demolition posted to Facebook by Newton resident Jude Hannah.)

“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.

See more: Second development moves ahead at old Surrey Public Market site

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.

See more: Surrey council approves ‘iconic’ project that aims to revitalize Whalley

See also: Boa constrictors, peacocks and other Surrey critters of 2017

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(Artist’s aerial view of Tien Sher Group’s proposed Flamingo Block project for Whalley. Photo submitted)

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.

Read more: Surrey’s Veterans Village, by design

See also: SLIDESHOW: Surrey’s most read stories from 2017

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(Recent design drawings of the Veterans Village proposed for downtown Surrey. Photo: Lark Group)

The Veterans Village project is expected to be brought before Surrey city council for consideration in February.

Sandy Reiser, executive director of the Royal Canadian Legion, BC/Yukon Command, has said the project will address a “critical shortage of services here at home and across Canada to support and address the health care needs and re-integration of our veterans who return home to their families with requirements for urgent clinical care, both physical rehabilitation and PTSD.”

She added: “This flagship project will be the first in Canada and we are excited to see the project moving forward so quickly.”

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.

See also: Province not helping house Surrey’s homeless fast enough: mayor

See also: Global tragedies hit home in Surrey in 2017

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.

See more: Surrey mayor urges province to ‘hurry up’ lest LRT price tag rises

See also: By the numbers: 2017 Surrey shootings, crashes and more

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.

See more: New look, name and logo for expanded Surrey Museum

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(A rendering of the completed Surrey Museum expansion. Photo: City of Surrey)

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.

Two new Surrey ice arenas are planned, though they will likely not be completed in 2018.

See more: Here’s a first look at Surrey’s two new arenas

While the foundation has been laid for a $52-million North Surrey ice complex (at 12780 110th Ave.), Cloverdale’s planned arena (south of 64th Avenue just east of 177B Street) is seeing delays, Mayor Hepner revealed to the Now-Leader in November.

Both were originally set to be complete in the spring of 2019, but the jury is out on Cloverdale’s arena, after Hepner said contractor costs were coming in too high, resulting in delays.

See more: Cloverdale ice complex construction delayed

See also: Year in Review: Big battles waged in Surrey in 2017

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(A rendering of the planned Cloverdale Sport & Ice Complex in Surrey. Photo: surrey.ca)

See also: Year in Review: A look back at 2017 in Surrey. (Shootings, tragedies, memorable moments and more.)

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