Massive 738-ft-tall office tower proposed for Surrey City Centre

Jun 25 2021, 4:27 pm

The massive Centre Block redevelopment in Surrey City Centre could be defined by one of Metro Vancouver’s future tallest buildings. If it were built today, it would be significantly taller than the tallest towers in downtown Vancouver.

More details will be presented to Surrey City Council next month, but city planners told Daily Hive Urbanized the proposal entails a 738-ft-tall (225 metres) office tower — currently named as the project’s East Tower — at the centre of the Centre Block site at 10275 City Parkway.

This is a redevelopment of the city-owned property currently occupied by the permanently closed North Surrey Recreation Centre — located immediately west of SkyTrain’s Surrey Central Station, and north of Central City shopping mall. The project is being spearheaded by the municipal government as an economic development catalyst for the city centre, similar to its involvement in the 2018-built, 516-ft-tall (157 metres) 3 Civic Plaza tower just to the north.

The tall East Tower, the first phase of the redevelopment, located at the centre of the site, would have 47 floors due to the higher ceiling heights for office space compared to residential uses, with a total floor area of about 926,000 sq ft.

10275 City Parkway Surrey Centre Block

Site of the Centre Block North office and institutional towers redevelopment, on the existing footprint of the closed North Surrey Recreation Centre at 10275 City Parkway. (Google Maps)

10275 City Parkway Surrey Centre Block

Site of the Centre Block North office and institutional towers redevelopment, on the existing footprint of the closed North Surrey Recreation Centre at 10275 City Parkway. (Google Maps)

The height of the East Tower is 79 ft (24 metres) taller than the 659-ft (201 metres) Living Shangri-La in downtown Vancouver, the current tallest building in Metro Vancouver. It would also be slightly taller than the region’s future tallest building currently under construction — Onni Group’s Two Gilmore Place in Burnaby at 708 ft (216 metres).

But the East Tower would not surpass the height of the region’s two future tallest towers, including the 755-ft-tall (230 metres) Concord Metrotown Two tower, which is expected to be built towards the middle of this decade. There is also a proposal to build an 82-storey tower, estimated to be roughly 800 ft (243 metres) in height, next to SkyTrain’s Lougheed Town Centre Station with a mix of retail, hotel, and residential uses.

Additionally, East Tower would be the tallest office tower in Metro Vancouver, exceeding the 530-ft-tall The Stack office tower currently under construction in downtown Vancouver.

10275 City Parkway Surrey Centre Block

June 2021 preliminary conceptual artistic rendering of the Centre Block North’s East Tower and West Tower, on the existing footprint of the closed North Surrey Recreation Centre at 10275 City Parkway. (Google Maps)

surrey centre block redevelopment

2020 preliminary conceptual artistic rendering of the Centre Block North’s East Tower and West Tower, on the existing footprint of the closed North Surrey Recreation Centre at 10275 City Parkway. (Google Maps)

surrey centre block redevelopment

2020 preliminary conceptual artistic rendering of the Centre Block North’s East Tower and West Tower, on the existing footprint of the closed North Surrey Recreation Centre at 10275 City Parkway. (Google Maps)

Centre Block North’s second phase is for a West Tower at the northwest corner of the development site — the southeast corner of the intersection of University Drive and Central Avenue, just south of the City Centre branch of Surrey Libraries.

This West Tower would have a height of 328-ft (100 metres) with 19 storeys, including a four-storey podium. The building’s total floor area would reach 452,000 sq ft, composed mainly of commercial office and institutional space.

Both towers combined in the application would generate a total floor area of approximately 1.37 million sq ft — roughly 90,000 sq ft larger than downtown Vancouver’s The Post development currently under construction, which is the repurposed Canada Post building for Amazon’s corporate office expansion and new retail and dining space.

Altogether, this north parcel of the Centre Block redevelopment would provide about 1.18 million sq ft of commercial office space, 23,000 sq ft of retail and dining space, and 153,000 sq ft of institutional and cultural space.

In addition, this proposal includes a significant north-south public plaza that connects Civic Plaza to the north and Central City Plaza to the south.

The project’s design firms are Hariri Pontarini Architects, Adamson Architects, and PFS Studio Landscape Architects.

surrey centre block redevelopment

2020 artistic rendering of the “Centre Block” redevelopment of North Surrey Recreation Centre, and the bus exchange and parking lot serving SkyTrain’s Surrey Central Station. (Surrey City Development Corporation)

surrey centre block redevelopment

2020 artistic rendering of the “Centre Block” redevelopment of North Surrey Recreation Centre, and the bus exchange and parking lot serving SkyTrain’s Surrey Central Station. (Surrey City Development Corporation)

surrey centre block redevelopment

2020 artistic rendering of the “Centre Block” redevelopment of North Surrey Recreation Centre, and the bus exchange and parking lot serving SkyTrain’s Surrey Central Station. (Surrey City Development Corporation)

For Centre Block’s south parcel, currently occupied by TransLink’s bus loop and a surface parking lot, the municipal government’s City Centre Plan envisions a redevelopment of this site as well into office and institutional towers, with the plaza cutting through it. The current application does not seek a redevelopment of this parcel at this time.

But based on the City Centre Plan, the functions of the bus loop would be replaced by an on-street exchange, and conceptual artistic renderings that surfaced last year showed there could also be a major overhaul to the SkyTrain station.

Institutional spaces within Centre Block buildings are expected to be largely occupied by Simon Fraser University (SFU) as a significant expansion of its Surrey campus.

Additionally, in July 2019, the federal government announced its plan to create a major centralized office hub within Surrey City Centre that consolidates the majority of its public servants working in the southern areas of Metro Vancouver. It was stated that new federal office space could potentially be tied in with new academic spaces for SFU.

surrey centre block redevelopment

2020 artistic rendering of the “Centre Block” redevelopment of North Surrey Recreation Centre, and the bus exchange and parking lot serving SkyTrain’s Surrey Central Station. (Surrey City Development Corporation)

surrey centre block redevelopment

2020 artistic rendering of the “Centre Block” redevelopment of North Surrey Recreation Centre, and the bus exchange and parking lot serving SkyTrain’s Surrey Central Station. (Surrey City Development Corporation)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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