The Evolution of BC’s Second Downtown Core
Surrey City Centre is growing due to investments in innovation, transportation and green living to thrive as BC’s newest metropolitan city
Surrey is the cultural capital of Canada and British Columbia’s fastest-growing municipality – which is why the transformation from suburban town to a centralized, green-focused metropolis is a natural progression for the city’s core.
Surrey City Centre already offers rich cultural diversity and it provides BC’s home buyers an alternative to Vancouver’s affordability issues. The evolution of Surrey illustrates a fascinating perspective of what the future holds for this rapidly-growing urban hub.
Skytrain stations, easy highway access, and multiple bus routes make the 35 kilometres to Vancouver convenient and accessible for commuters. Utilizing investment from the local and federal levels of Governments, planned transit expansions will service this area and connect neighbouring communities to the east.
Home prices and sales in Surrey have seen unmet demand and an excess of product, prices have yet to deflate, and continued investment in the area means that BC’s next metropolitan city is on the rise. The average price for a home in Surrey is currently $849,900 for a detached home and $279,800 for an apartment. Up 11.88% and 4.01% respectively from last quarter. Evidence of an evolving city on the rise.
The increase in demand is correlated to an increase in population. The population of Surrey is projected to reach over 820, 200 by the year 2046, from the current 567,690 residences; illustrating that the city is on the verge of a thoughtful and purposeful renewal.
Development plans for Surrey City Centre and the neighbouring areas is a robust envisioning of what BC’s largest city will look like. Iconic landmarks such as City Hall renewed and energised the community, blending urban architecture and green-inspired living. The completion and addition of the Civic Plaza and the Civic hotel have elevated the Civic Centre and the City’s Core with 350 luxury residences and amenities like the Prado Café, Dominion Kitchen + Bar and convention centre. At 52 stories, 3 Civic Plaza hosts the tallest tower in Surrey. At these heights’ residence house unbeatable views of Metro Vancouver.
Central City & University District is the multiphase downtown core introducing the first phase of SFU Surrey Campus at Civic Plaza and Central City mall which will be followed by a redesigned counterpart expected in 2023. Bordering the King George Boulevard, just a moment’s walk from the nearest sky train station, this highly central downtown core will feature urban architecture and pedestrian shopping increasing density and commercial amenities and office space over the next 10 years. 3 Civic Plaza has now introduced the Surrey Kwantlen Tech Hub in 2018 which will increase the number of students looking to buy or rent in the immediate area.
Health & Technology District introduces a multi-phase eight building commercial space project. The buildings will service health care, medical technology and extended care sectors. It is a mixed-use facility with retail on the street level and podium shops introducing an abundance of local amenities to the area, and office space on the remaining throughout. Currently, space is occupied by medical specialists, professional firms, the Health Tech Innovation Foundations, as well as the Health Tech Innovation Hub. City Centre 2 has now reached completion and will continue to add new jobs in the immediate area.
Historic Whalley District is a tribute to the past, Whalley is locally known and has been an area of interest for future development. With convenient Sky Train access, and one stop from the Central City Whalley features the Surrey Legion, a building with exceptional design and a community icon for this local pedestrian friendly borough of Surrey City Centre, unfortunately, this means saying goodbye to the local icon, the Flamingo Hotel.
Holland Park District is a local landmark known to have numerous free concerts every year as well as playing host to hundreds of cultural and/or community events throughout the year with thousands of local residences in attendance. Residential low-rise communities looking out onto the towering Central City District. This area provides close proximity, minutes away from main arterial routes and nearby amenities.
Between the eleven various neighbourhoods and diverse housing opportunities, Surrey City Centre is designed to offer something for everyone, with government assistance with affordable housing options the future of Surrey seems positive and inspiring.
The Surrey Central/North Delta market retains a ‘Green Light’ rating as total sales absorbed 46 percent of the units remaining from the Second Quarter and the newly released units in the Third Quarter of 2018. High-rise sales increased significantly while Townhome sales stayed consistent, and low-rise sales dropped to nearly zero. The high sales totals in the high-rise sector can be primarily attributed to the launch of one project that was able to sell over 95 percent of its units. Low Rise sales were very slow with no new projects being launched during the quarter. The previous quarter had two Low Rise launches that subsequently sold out within the quarter resulting in an unusually high sales total. Three High Rise projects are anticipated to launch in Surrey during October accounting for approximately 1,550 units.
The consistent sales successes in the area along with the investment in infrastructure, amenities, and development is a clear indicator that Surrey City Centre is British Columbia’s next urban hot-spot to watch.