The year was a big one in terms of local projects. Aside from the proposed South Surrey casino and entertainment complex, which captured headlines for its vocal opponents and proponents and overall effect it may have on Surrey and the surrounding area, there were several other projects to keep an eye out for.
One such project is a proposal in Delta that would see a 37-storey residential building go up near the Scott Road area along 80th Avenue. While nearby residents have voiced their opposition and concern for the project, Delta council moved forward with the highrise, saying Delta needs the "flashy" building in order to provide more housing and options for young and old buyers.
Elsewhere in Delta, a proposal to build a large development at the bottom of 72nd Avenue has been criticized by environmental advocates as something that would potentially encroach upon Burns Bog and have a negative effect on the area. Proposed by the MK Delta Lands Group Inc., the project has the capacity for an estimated 1,800 residential units as well as room for other amenities such as restaurants, bars and retail shops. The development is proposed to span roughly 50 acres of land, and Delta council will consider it in the New Year.
In Surrey, the modernization of Surrey's city centre continued with the approval of "micro condos" for Whalley. The project, green-lit by council in October, will see 56 condos go up in Whalley, ranging from about 290 square feet to 653 square feet. The small establishments are meant to be an affordable option for those wanting to live in an up-and-coming area of Surrey and pricing is expected to start around $109,000.
As of this writing, the condos were set to be smallest real estate in Canada, with construction expected to begin in early 2013.
Also set for Whalley is the new headquarters of Coast Capital Savings as announced at the end of 2012. The 180,000-square-foot, nine-storey building will be located at the south side of the King George SkyTrain station and is set to be built by late 2015. When built, the headquarters will house roughly 700 Coast Capital employees. Coast Capital is the second largest credit union in B.C.
Last, but not least, Simon Fraser University is also looking to expand its campus in Whalley, eyeing up two spots near its current tower at Central City shopping centre. The move follows SFU Surrey's plans to expand its current capacity from 2,500 full-time students to 5,000.
"SFU is the only research university that is trying to substantially grow its undergraduate population and that stems from our location in Surrey and the growth in Surrey and other south Fraser cities," said Joanne Curry, SFU executive director and associate VP of external relations for SFU Surrey.
If all goes accordingly, SFU hopes to begin building additional facilities within three years.