49 Storey Tower to House SFU Surrey Expansion
Surrey's City Centre will see a huge economic boost in the coming years if a proposed Central City Phase II plan proceeds. The proposal includes a new city hall, recreation and arts facilities, and an expansion to Simon Fraser University's successful Surrey campus. Phase I, completed in 2003, won international architectural acclaim when it was completed. The 26 storey tower is currently the tallest building in Surrey, a suburb of Metro Vancouver.
The next phase, designed by Bing Thom Architects, would include a cluster of buildings across the street from Phase I, and next to the Central City SkyTrain station. A 49 storey office tower would be the centre piece, and the current plaza would be extended into the new development. The plaza would be able to support large cultural events and may include a water feature which acts as an skating rink in winter. SFU is also keen on expanding, and may double its current capacity in the new development. SFU may also move many sports programmes to the new expanded campus from its main Burnaby facilities.
Surrey's mayor, Dianne Watts, has commited to moving city hall to the new city centre, and has pledged to develop the area into a commercial centre rivalling downtown Vancouver. Numerous other developments are currently in the planning stages, though recent troubles in the economy may delay activity.
A recent presentation at SFU Surrey revealed more details about the project, but a start date is still unknown.