Normally, we don’t usually discuss happenings in Surrey on Vancity Buzz. Most of the time those happenings are people being shot anyway. However, I thought it would be interesting to check out Surrey’s City Centre plan on Thursday at an open house in the Central City building. The plan is based on resident feedback received from an open house earlier this year. It will be tinkered after receiving more feedback and then a new plan will be presented in the Spring of 2009.
The plan consists of forming a piece of Whalley into a second downtown in the Lower Mainland. Planners are calling for a “work, live, play” downtown. Sound familiar? The focal point will be turning King George Hwy into a “great street.” References to Georgia and Burrard streets were given.
Also, Surrey intends to build on the SFU student population. Apparently, the campus will expand to 10 000 students in a decade. The entire Health Sciences faculty will be located there. The residence building will be located just a couple blocks north of SFU. Planners are banking on much of the student population to create “vibrant” pedestrian traffic. This is similar to what the Downtown Eastside is hoping with the Woodward’s Building.
Surrey is also planning on building a tight medical area around Surrey Memorial Hospital to promote pedestrian traffic. King George Hwy stretching from the hospital to north will become pedestrian friendly. One way they look to do this is by rerouting some truck traffic to 140th St.
Rumours persist of City Hall moving to Whalley. This will move many civic jobs here filling in a portion of the “work, live” element.
So, why would anyone want to live in a condo in Whalley? Well, the marketing strategy is to promote the “views.” To maximize the views, a “Peaks and Valleys Scenario” will be selected, where higher density will be around the skytrain stations and medium and low density elsewhere. The key demographic being marketed to are families and seniors.
There was no plan to deal with the homeless and drug issues.
The open house runs again Monday, September 15 at 4:00pm in the mezzanine of SFU Surrey.
I will post my thoughts later.