SURREY â€“ The tallest tower south of the Fraser River will feature a hotel with 144 luxury suites, as Marriott International announced they will bring their Autograph Collection to Surrey’s 3 Civic Plaza project.
When completed, the hotel will be 21 storeys with a convention space, fitness centre, lobby-based cafe, fine dining restaurant, and rooftop patio for special events.
Tsawwassen-based developer Century Group held an unveiling of the suites on Thursday (Sept. 25) near the ground-breaking construction site, which is scheduled to open by Christmas of 2016.
Century Group president Sean Hodgins said it’s rare that a developer has this kind of opportunity to effect significant change in an established city like Surrey.
"Oftentimes we come in and the pattern has been set," he said. "The building blocks are already there and the mosaic, if you will, of the city has already been established. And we come in and we just fill in the grout between the tiles."
Hodgins said the $150 million project is an opportunity to engage in a city-building enterprise, using a mix of private and public investment to change the centre of Surrey.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University owns three floors of the 52-floor tower, and will create a professional development and business campus there.
Hodgins said with the hotel, KPU campus, and proximity to downtown amenities, 3 Civic Plaza will become a "social hub" of the community.
When researching and investigating hotel brands, Century Group decided the Marriott Autograph Collection was the only one that fit. Hodgins said he met with representatives of Marriott and told them about the unprecedented growth of Surrey and business opportunities here.
"And they’d kind of heard that before. So, we said, OK, come out here, take a look, understand what’s happening, meet with the city’s representatives, because this is a really important thing."
Hodgins said it only took one visit to convince them of the value of the investment.
Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, said the location of 3 Civic Plaza close to SkyTrain and transportation corridors will be important to its success.
"In today’s global landscape, location is vitally important and becomes a keen competitive advantage," she said.
Huberman also spoke about Surrey’s increasingly metropolitan and multicultural status as a key reason for continued investment in the city with respect to culture, business, the arts, and education.
"This is where the human capital is, and this is what we’re saying to new and incoming businesses into our city," she said.
The Surrey Marriott will be just one of 50 Autograph Collection luxury hotels of four and five star ratings worldwide. Suits will range in size from 345 to 375-square-feet with standard king, queen, and superior king sized beds. A night’s stay is expect to run visitors between $140 and $150.