Surrey’s City Centre
In 1998 I was an early employee of the group that founded the Surrey campus of Simon Fraser University, now the centre-piece of Surrey’s Central City district. Back then it was hard to look past dilapidated buildings and vacant lots and imagine the city’s vision of a transit-oriented walking community packed with recreation like what we see today. But oh what a change! Now, anchored by the SFU campus, the neighbourhood is attracting the best and brightest of the next generation of buyers. One of the cornerstone developments driving the change is HAVAN member Century Group’s 3 Civic Plaza, marketed by another HAVAN member, Fifth Avenue Marketing. To find out why buyers are investing in Surrey’s new downtown, I talked to Fifth Avenue’s Joyce Li. According to Ms. Li, buyers – especially the parents of student buyers – “like that the community is self contained with easy access to all amenities, especially SFU and transit. There is no reason to own a car.” Further, buyers “believe the vision that the Surrey City Central property has high potential to appreciate because of city planning – much like Metrotown and Yaletown in years past.” Like other developments nearby, 3 Civic Plaza offers a range of homes with an emphasis on the first-time buyer. In addition to SFU and Sky Train, there is also, within walking distance, Surrey’s brand new City Hall, library, Holland Park, ice rink, recreation centre and a revived Surrey Central mall for shopping, including a T&T Market. In many ways it seems like Surrey city planners went overboard packing the amenities into this corner of the city to make people like me forget what we saw in the last century. For buyers, sometimes it’s good to have a short memory!