(This article is sponsored by Concord Pacific.)
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Surrey City Centre last November, it was the culmination of years of effort by SFU officials to expand the university’s footprint in the fastest-growing part of Metro Vancouver.
Trudeau and B.C. Premier Christy Clark came to SFU’s Surrey campus to announce a new $126-million, five-storey building that will house the energy systems and engineering program.
The proposed Energy Systems and Environmental Engineering Program is the first of its kind in Western Canada. It will focus on degree programs and research into clean technology and sustainable energy.
"Surrey has been SFU's top priority for expansion, and we hugely appreciate the government support announced today," SFU president Andrew Petter said at the time.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University is developing its yet-to-open 30,000-square-foot campus, KPU Civic Plaza, at Surrey City Centre, which is also home to the head offices of Fraser Health. The KPU project will include a 250-seat studio theatre and a 1,600-seat flex theatre.
It's an appropriate location, given that Surrey Centre is expected to be the destination for three new light-rail lines coming from Guildford, Newton, and Langley, estimated to cost $2.1 billion. TransLink also recently announced a $25-million upgrade to Surrey Central Station.
In fact, it's hard to imagine another area in Canada attracting so many large public investments in such a short period of time.
King George Highway from SFU Surrey to Surrey Memorial Hospital is already home to a 2.5-square-kilometre high-tech health cluster known as Innovation Boulevard.
Pioneered by the City of Surrey, SFU, and Fraser Health, Innovation Boulevard has become a magnet for private-sector investment, luring dozens of large and small high-tech firms, ranging from Philips Healthcare to Micromatter Technologies.
That's because this public-private initiative brings together researchers from several postsecondary institutions, Surrey Memorial Hospital, and companies in neurotech, digital-health tech, and independent living. The objective is to develop devices to enhance the lives of patients and seniors.
It's one reason why the province has been making major public investments in Surrey Memorial Hospital, including $512 million for a new critical care tower and emergency department and $6.9 million in a neonatal intensive care unit. Another $240 million has been allocated to the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.
But this still doesn't come close to capturing the extent of public investments in this dynamic part of Metro Vancouver.
Nearly $1 billion went into the RCMP's E Division headquarters in nearby Green Timbers. Another $36 million was spent on the space-age Bing Thom-designed library in Surrey City Centre. In addition, $50 million has been invested in the Surrey City Hall development. Another $1.5 million was allocated to the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre. And the mayor, Linda Hepner, is turning part of King George Boulevard into a regional centre for arts and culture.
No wonder Surrey City Centre's population grew by more than 50 percent from 2005 to 2015. Where else in North America have governments spent so much money gussying up the neighbourhood?
Even Hollywood has come knocking. The company that produced such blockbusters as Star Trek Into Darkness and the Mission: Impossible films, Skydance Media, has opened a major production studio in the nearby Kennedy Heights neighbourhood. Skydance was founded by David Ellison, son of Oracle Corporation founder Larry Ellison, and plans to employ up to 400 people in Surrey.
Rapid transit has been the cornerstone of much of what is taking place in the city. And it shouldn't come as a surprise that Canada's premier real-estate development company, Concord Pacific, was one of the first to see the potential of Surrey City Centre.
In 2013, it opened a $2.5-million presentation centre at a glittery event that attracted the mayor of Surrey and the executive director of SFU Surrey.
"With 70 percent of population growth to be south of the Fraser River, we felt it was important to expand beyond Vancouver," Concord Pacific Senior Vice President of Sales Grant Murray said at the time.
Concord's newest project in Surrey City Centre is Park Boulevard, has been described "Canada's first interactive illuminated residential tower". Across the street from Holland Park and next door to Coast Capital’s head office, this shimmering 41-storey high-rise will greet SkyTrain passengers with a dazzling light show as they step off the train at King George Station.
There's nothing like it anywhere else in Canada.
Destined to become the landmark residential tower in Surrey, Park Boulevard will include 419 homes, including one-, two-, and three-bedroom condominiums as well as street-level townhomes.
“With the existing SkyTrain and now the future light-rail transit extensions to South Surrey, Guildford, and Langley coming on line, this project will have a tremendous resale advantage in the years to come," Murray declared.
Just 20 minutes from Metrotown and 40 minutes from Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver, Park Boulevard has all the modern conveniences, including an indoor swimming pool, tepidarium, experience shower, hot tub, sundeck, sauna, steam room, indoor badminton court, fitness centre, sports lounge, and business centre. The stunning lobby and dedicated concierge will make you feel like you've entered one of the finest hotels in Italy.
Inside, the suites live up to the outstanding reputation that Concord Pacific has earned over more than 30 years in Vancouver. Engineered quartz stone countertops, laminated cabinetry, matching, wide-plank laminated flooring, and exquisite large format porcelain Calacatta tile backsplashes add elegance to timeless and carefully designed interiors. A drawer organizer system maximizes storage opportunities while saving space. Luxury abounds.
That’s in addition to the spectacular views. The vistas are amazing. There's a reason why Surrey was known for many years as the City of Parks. Greenery can be seen on all sides.
Concord Pacific is a trusted builder, creating master-planned communities that consistently set new standards for urban living in Canada. Park Boulevard carries on that tradition, redefining the Surrey skyline and what a transit-friendly development can aspire to become.
For more information, call 604-583-9866 or visit www.parkboulevardliving.com to learn more. Concord Pacific's Surrey Presentation Centre is at 9908 King George Boulevard, adjacent to King George SkyTrain Station.
(This article is sponsored by Concord Pacific.)