Renderings show a high-rise residential tower and a commercial building proposed to be constructed adjacent to the North Surrey Medical Building, near the intersection of 96th Avenue and King George Boulevard. (Photos: surrey.ca)

31-storey tower proposed as part of plan to preserve North Surrey Medical Building

Rize Atelier plans to build 298 homes, 33,369-square-foot commercial building

  • Apr. 15, 2019 12:00 a.m.

A 31-storey residential tower and 33,369-square-foot commercial building are proposed as part of a plan that would see the preservation of the North Surrey Medical Building that fronts King George Boulevard.

Developer Rize Atelier is seeking city council’s approval for an increase in density for the project, at 9644 and 9656 King George Blvd., under which it would sign a Heritage Revitalization Agreement for the medical building.

According to city documents, the North Surrey Medical Building was constructed in 1969 during the “post-war population boom” and was designed by architect Peter Cole.

“As the population of Surrey grew, the medical system diversified to provide health care infrastructure throughout the community,” staff note in an April 15 planning report to council. “This included the opening of Surrey Memorial Hospital in 1959 and associated medical services nearby. The North Surrey Medical building remains an intact representation of this growth.”

Staff add that “the building combines elements of modernist aesthetics and materials with more traditional styles of architecture, such as columns, colonnades and other design features. The building is characterized by its rectangular volume with mirrored east and west elevations, as well as its stylized entablature and colonnades, and is one of the most distinct examples of new formalism in Surrey.”

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(Map shows where the North Surrey Medical Building is located, and where the proposed housing and commercial buildings are envisioned. Photo: surrey.ca)

Rize plans to preserve the building and as part of that proposal, seeks a density bump for the project on the site.

In all, 298 homes are proposed as part of the development (293 in the tower, and another five townhomes on the north side of the property).

To proceed the developer needs OCP and City Centre plan amendments to allow for higher density (from 3.5 to 5.5 FAR) and the properties must be rezoned from CHI to CD.

In a report to council on April 15, a City Centre Plan indicates that increased density may be considered with the site in association with an Heritage Revitalization Agreement, noting the costs of retaining and restoring the medical building are “significant.”

Staff say the proposed density and building form are appropriate for this part of City Centre, and forms “part of an emerging high-density mixed-use hub that will be complementary to the Surrey Memorial Hospital and Medical District to the south and east.”

“In addition, the City Centre Plan permits developments to increase densities up to 20 per cent” in accordance with the City Centre Interim Density Bonus Policy, staff note in the report to council.

The proposed development, staff say, “conforms to the goal of achieving high-rise, high density and mixed-use development around the three SkyTrain Stations,” noting it’s within 500 metres of the King George station.

The new commercial building will be “similar in massing and proportion and connected to the Medical building via a recessed glazed three-storey atrium.” The new building’s exterior will “consist of primarily glazing and white architectural concert presented in a manner that is complimentary to, but distinguishable form the heritage building.”

The developer has proposed a “voluntary density bonus of $50,000 to parks, recreation and culture to support future park enhancements for the headwaters of Quibble Creek.”

Rize would also be required to provide public art, and must contribute $1,000 per unit as an “Affordable Housing Contribution,” as part of a city strategy adopted in April of 2018 in which developers contribute funds to be used to purchase land for new affordable rental housing projects.

Of the seven protected trees identified the proposal intends to remove five of them. The application proposes to plan 38 replacement trees, exceeding city requirements.

The bylaws to amend the property’s zoning and establish a heritage agreement received first and second reading from Surrey council on April 15, and the project will now be subject to a public hearing on April 29.


amy.reid@surreynowleader.comLike us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

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