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The Globe and Mail

Surrey, New Westminster, B.C., put taxpayer cash on the line to spur development

Taking a page from larger cities, these suburban communities say city money is a catalyst to development. Here are three projects spurred on by their communities

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Adjacent to the Surrey Central SkyTrain station, a new urban village is springing up in Surrey, B.C. Here is an architectural rendering of 3 Civic Plaza. The tallest tower will house 353 residential suites and will stand more than 50 storeys high.

Century Group

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The project’s plaza. The hotel/office/entertainment complex being developed by the Century Group and the Surrey City Development Corporation. The city has invested $13-million of taxpayer funds in the $100-million project.

Century Group

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The project at night. The municipality is aggressively investing to create a new downtown in the suburbs on a transportation node. A 144-room hotel will offer guests views of sunrises over the Coast Mountains and sunsets over Vancouver Island. It will be Surrey’s first high-rise hotel in two decades.

Century Group

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A two-storey “glass box” grand lobby will be shared by the residences, offices and hotel, and will function as a social hub.

Century Group

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Across the Fraser River, in the small city of New Westminster, city council is putting $95-million on the line by developing an office tower on top of a needed civic centre. A private developer withdrew from the project.

City of New Westminster

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The Anvil Centre, under construction and due to open in 2014, is meant to spur development around its downtown SkyTrain stop. ‘The investment New Westminster has made is a huge catalyst to development there,’ says Robert Fung, who specializes in restoring and upgrading historic buildings.

City of New Westminster

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Back in Surrey, the city has taken another unusual step. It is constructing a building geared specifically to house a local brewery that is expanding and couldn’t find the space it wanted. Darryll Frost, owner of the award-winning Central City Brewery, said the new space is going to alter the whole area. ‘This building is gorgeous to look at. It will be the genesis of that whole area,’ said Mr. Frost, whose company will be offering tours and tastings on site.

Central City Brewery & Distillery

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