Rendering of seven planned towers as part of Anthem Properties’ ‘Georgetown’ development near 102nd Avenue and King George Boulevard. (Photo: surrey.ca)

Rendering of seven planned towers as part of Anthem Properties’ ‘Georgetown’ development near 102nd Avenue and King George Boulevard. (Photo: surrey.ca)

Seven-tower ‘Georgetown’ development ‘almost a community on its own,’ says Surrey councillor

Surrey council gave its approval to phase one of the City Centre project Monday night

Big changes are afoot in Surrey’s City Centre as another developer has received the green light to build towers in the area that’s being transformed into the next downtown core for the Metro Vancouver region.

On Monday, Surrey council gave its blessing to the first phase of a development project that, if all approved, will include seven towers, townhouses and an outdoor plaza near 102nd Avenue and King George Boulevard.

As phase one of seven, Anthem Properties plans to build a 30-storey tower with 342 apartments and ground floor commercial, as well as nine two-storey townhouses for its proposed “Georgetown” development on the southern portion of a 10-acre property at 13665 102nd Ave.

Surrey council gave the first phase of the project third reading on Monday, after much public support was expressed at a public hearing.

While phases two through seven are intended to be developed as future projects, Anthem hoped Monday to “obtain a level of certainty from council that the proposed density and development concept for phases two through seven is acceptable.” It’s a similar approach taken on comparable “master plan” developments in the area such as West Village and Flamingo Block, which will see that area transformed into Surrey’s “Yaletown” according to developer Tien Sher.

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

See also: Big plans afoot for storied hotel as developer wants to turn area into Surrey’s ‘Yaletown’

It seems Anthem’s got it.

“I don’t see any reason that we won’t be talking about the finale of all of this… It had virtually no opposition,” Councillor Mike Starchuk told the Now-Leader Tuesday, describing the project as “almost a community on its own.”

“There’s going to be thousands more families living in the downtown core,” he added.

“There’s so much street animation, so much walkability, bikeability,” said Starchuk. “Their intent is to make it walkable with small boutique shops and they want to be able to accommodate the Save-On Foods and Canadian Tire (which are tenants on the property right now).”

Starchuk also praised the amenities in the project, from a theatre-style projection set-up with covered seating available if the weather is poor, to a plaza and playground, to space that could even be used for a farmer’s market.

The nostalgia in the name piqued his interest as well.

“The word George,” Starchuk said. “They didn’t want to call it King George, but when they were talking about this Georgetown name I told them when I go back to my early days working in Whalley, we called King George Boulevard ‘The George.’ So the word George is kind of nostalgic.”

homelessphoto

(Rendering of phase one of the proposed Georgetown development. Photo: surrey.ca)

Anthem’s “master plan” involves ultimately subdividing the property into seven lots in order to create a mixed-use community, complete with a “significant public open space plaza” at the centre of the site.

Phase two includes one 32-storey and one 32-storey tower with ground floor commercial, and phase three includes a six-storey residential building with ground floor commercial centred on a large public plaza.

A 41-storey tower is proposed in phase four, a 39-storey tower with office space in phase five and a 45-storey high-rise with office space in phase six.

Finally, a 15-storey mid-rise residential building with ground floor commercial space as phase seven.

The project’s landscape architect, Jennifer Stamp, told council of many efforts made in public open spaces.

Stamp said it’s hoped the commercial at ground-level can have many restaurants.

“It’s thought there could be market days or sidewalk sales, we’re trying to provide a flexibility of use,” she added.

Stamp also spoke of a children’s place area, a plaza, water feature, a pavilion with shade trees and seating, as well as walkways and bikeways.

“I think the other thing to mention is that there is going to be a lot of what we refer to as body heat in this community,” Stamp told council ahead of their vote. “We’re adding a heck of a lot of residents and I think this is what we all vision as a positive step toward this neighbourhood in supporting the businesses that are already there and also providing affordable options in different housing options within the city for residents who want to be here.”

Mike Nielsen, who runs Sprite Multimedia six blocks away from the proposed development, said Anthem’s proposal will “continue the positive momentum” in the area. He said the public gathering place int he middle of the complex will “really build community.”

Also speaking in support was Bill Rempel, vice president and general manager for Blackwood Partners that operates Central City Shopping Centre just 200 metres away.

“We fully support the master plan developed for this site,” Rempel told Surrey council Monday, noting the project “may very well attract new investors and interest in the growth of our great community.”

A man named Constantine who identified himself as strata president of a development near 142A Street and 108th Avenue said “there’s no question that we would definitely be supporting” the project.

“Number one being the trustworthy developer, and we see that they’re genuine in their efforts but it’s fantastic in terms of how this region and this city is changing and a project like this does seem to have a very exciting value in terms of incorporating the needs of this community,” he told councillors.

Rob Blackwell, senior vice-president of Anthem Properties, told city council ahead of their approval that it’s hard to predict how long the entire project would take to complete.

“The first phase, if given approval, would take three years from breaking grounds to completion and each phase is of a similar period of time,” he explained. “If the market is robust we can go through faster and have a quicker overall pace but I would estimate overall that we would be looking at something like seven or eight years.”

A report to council notes Save-On Foods and Canadian Tire will continue to operate, on the northern side of the site, where future phases are proposed to be built, approximately 325 metres away from Surrey Central SkyTrain Station across King George Boulevard.

In phase one, the apartments are to range in size from 359 to 686 square feet, according to the application, in a variety of housing types including 85 studio units, 172 one-bedroom units and 85 two-bedroom units.

A report to council notes the density and building form are appropriate for the area, and state it “forms part of an emerging high-density mixed-use hub that will be complementary to the City of Surrey Civic Centre to the west.”

The application complies with the Official Community plan, as well as density set out in the Surrey City Centre plan, a staff report states.

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

Just Posted

Members of the Wheeling 8’s dance group go on a roll at Surrey’s Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in 2018, during the club’s 45th-anniversary event. If not for the pandemic, such activities could be socially prescribed as part of a new program involving Fraser Health and DiverseCity Community Resources Society. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
‘Social prescriptions’ connect Surrey seniors to activities and other services they need

Fraser Health-backed program involves GP referrals to a Seniors’ Community Connector with DiverseCity

Linda Annis, Aug. 12, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Annis wants independent auditor general for Surrey

‘Surrey taxpayers deserve the best possible oversight of the tax dollars they send to city hall,’ Surrey councillor says

rcmp
South Surrey neighbours’ calls to police lead to break-and-enter arrest

‘Prime example’ of RCMP and public working together, constable says

SkyTrain’s end of the line, for now, in Whalley. (File photo)
Provincial budget watchers lament no mention of Surrey SkyTrain expansion

But $1.66 billion is earmarked for a second hospital for Surrey, in Cloverdale

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Playland at the PNE is set to reopen this May, with COVID-19 health and safety measures approved by the province. (Website/Playland)
VIDEO: Playland at PNE scheduled to reopen this May to masked customers

British Columbians are discouraged from travelling outside of their local health authority to visit the theme park

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Most Read