The expansion of Guildford Town Centre is set to open tomorrow (Aug. 28), showcasing 70 new stores at the largest shopping centre south of the Fraser River.
The centre held a VIP media brunch on Tuesday to show off such new tenants as the Lego Store, the Disney Store, Zumiez, Vans, La Senza, Town Shoes, Forever 21 and Bootlegger, among many more.
"After counting down for over 460 days, it is so hard to believe that we are now just one day from opening our beautiful new expansion," said Peggy White, general manager of Guildford Town Centre, at the brunch. "Trying to keep a project like this moving, while being in business, has not been easy."
An estimated 300 people attended the invite-only event, getting a sneak peek less than 24 hours before the grand opening. Many politicians were also in attendance, including MLAs Stephanie Cadieux, Peter Fassbender, Harry Bains and Amrik Virk; Surrey North MP Jasbir Sandhu; Delta Mayor Lois Jackson; and Surrey councillors Barinder Rasode, Bruce Hayne and Mary Martin.
Hayne said the $280-million expansion will create 750 full- and part-time jobs, making Guildford Town Centre one of Surrey's biggest employers with a total of 3,700 employees.
"Council was here about three months ago to take a tour, and the transformation in that 90-day period is absolutely staggering," he said. "Thank you for looking at Surrey and realizing that this is one of the greatest places in Western Canada to invest, to live, to work and to shop."
Hayne pointed out that about 30 per cent of Surrey's population is under the age of 19, and that these new stores will give many teenagers and young adults the opportunity to find jobs.
"Many of them will get their first jobs here, many of them will make their careers in retail right here, and that's very important to us," he said.
The expansion also features a parkade with 1,800 new parking spots and a new 1,034-seat food court with 16 restaurants, including A&W, Tim Hortons, Flaming Wok, KFC, Edo Japan, OPA of Greece, Subway, Thai Express and the Bourbon Street Grill.
The mall now has two "living walls" - walls that are completely covered by plants - both inside and outside of the shopping centre, plus a spacious centre court with a glass enclosed elevator, surrounded by a fountain with a waterfall running down the enclosure.
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