We are ecstatic about today’s unveiling of a massive Simon Fraser University expansion and office tower proposal adjacent to Surrey Central SkyTrain station. Proposals like these in downtown Surrey highlight the need for immediate support from the federal government to build the Surrey-Langley Skytrain extension, showing that the downtown Surrey area is emerging as the extension’s largest ridership anchor.
The new ‘Center Block’ development proposal also envisions the redesign and modernization of the adjacent Surrey Central SkyTrain Station with an extensive glass canopy and a redesigned on-street bus exchange, as well as new transit plazas, restaurants, and high-end retail spaces; all of which will establish Surrey Central as a major destination/meeting point for future SkyTrain users.
Notably, Daily Hive Urbanized’s report on the ‘Center Block’ proposal evokes a comparison with Bentall Centre, the iconic downtown Vancouver four-building office complex connected to Burrard SkyTrain Station. Bentall’s role in anchoring the downtown Vancouver central business district is expected to be recreated at Surrey’s Center Block, which will provide a total commercial floor space identical to Bentall Centre at 1.5 million sq. ft. This amount of floor space could supply the area with office and retail employment capacity for upwards of 10,000 people adjacent to SkyTrain.
Bentall Centre’s timely completion in the early 1980s, just a few years ahead of the original SkyTrain (Expo Line), established it as a major anchor for its ridership. Today, Burrard Station is the SkyTrain system’s fourth busiest station, serving more than 7.6 million passengers per year. On average, more than 6,700 people pass through Burrard station at its busiest hour of day. The successes of the original SkyTrain system and Burrard Station, driven by developments like Bentall Centre, show why the capacity offered by a SkyTrain extension is absolutely necessary in Surrey.
Surrey Central’s more centralized role in downtown Surrey as a connection point to surface transit routes means it effectively serves as both our ‘Burrard’ and ‘Granville’ stations, and it is poised to eventually become busier than Burrard Station is today. Grade separation and high carrying capacity will be key to supporting transit systems that bring people throughout Surrey and the Langleys into our Surrey downtown core.
SkyTrain for Surrey is the community organization that advocated for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension, and continues to push for high-quality rapid transit projects in Surrey and Langley. We began as a petition calling for the scrapping of a street-level LRT proposal, which eventually amassed more than 6,000 signatures, and later contributed to making SkyTrain an election issue as a registered third-party advertiser. SkyTrain for Surrey continues to call for high-quality projects that offer a positive return-on-investment and recognize the rapidly increasing demand for transit.
Daryl Dela Cruz – Founder, SkyTrain for Surrey
Phone: +1 604 329 3529, [email protected]