Long vacant, historic corner to be redeveloped in Cloverdale

The Cloverdale Gateway project at 176 Street and Hwy 10 should get underway this spring.  - JP Lovick Architect Ltd.
The Cloverdale Gateway project at 176 Street and Hwy 10 should get underway this spring.
— image credit: JP Lovick Architect Ltd.

The lonely-looking northwest corner at the entrance to historic Cloverdale is being redeveloped after lying vacant for more than a decade.

The Cloverdale Gateway project at 17577 Highway 10 is a two-story retail and office building designed by PJ Lovick Architect, the Burnaby-based company behind Clayton Crossing and other recent commercial developments in Surrey, including Sullivan Phase II.

The property, which has been assessed at $1.1 million, was most recently home to a Shell gas station, but it’s been vacant for at least 12 years, surrounded by a chain link fence due to remediation efforts.

As with Brick Yard Station, another recent addition to the Cloverdale bypass corridor, the building’s design will be in keeping with the heritage rail theme and in compliance with the Cloverdale Town Centre Plan.

Concept drawings show a low rise building with large windows, red brick columns and stained wood beams.

Landscaping will also make a nod to Cloverdale’s heritage by incorporating plants seen more frequently in its early community days such as robinia, a golden locus tree with a large canopy, lavender, boxwood and ornamental grasses.

The proposal went to public hearing Dec. 10. The property is in the process of being rezoned from Comprehensive Development (CD) to Town Centre Commercial.Cloverdale Gateway site

“We’re pretty close to getting a development permit and the building permit is [already] in,” said architect Andrea Scott. “Hopefully, we’ll start construction in the spring.”

[The northwest corner of 176 Street and Hwy 10 has remained vacant for years. Formerly home to a Shell gas station, the property is to be redeveloped into a two-storey office and commercial building.]

The project will take about eight months to complete, Scott said, adding, “It should be open for 2014.”

The development calls for a retail floor with 533 square metres, another 642 square metres of offices space on the second floor, and 30 parking spaces at street level.

With the addition of Cloverdale Gateway, there will be “a nice, continuous facade [of buildings] all the way down 176 Street,” city planner Lee-Anne Pitcairn said, pointing out that the Telus switching station immediately adjacent dates from the 1950s.

“I’m hoping this development will pull people past this building to more retail experience” in downtown Cloverdale.

Brown House Surrey heritageThe Brown house [pictured at left] immediately to the west of the Cloverdale Gateway property is listed on the city’s heritage inventory, and the site is included in the development permit portion of the application because access will be off Highway 10, via an existing residential driveway.

Bill Reid, executive director of the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, said he hopes the Brown house will be saved.

“The obvious thing is it has to be moved.”

Another option is to turn it into heritage office space. “This is the last bastion of heritage homes in the core of Cloverdale at the moment,” Reid said, pointing to historic houses in the area that were the focus of preservation efforts that were ultimately unsuccessful.

The corner was originally known as McLellan Road and Pacific Highway (completed in 1923) and was home to a Parr residence and the B.C. Telephone Company.

“I understand the owners of the site where the complex is going, they bought the house, and at this point, I don’t think they have any intention of doing anything with the house,” Reid said.

The heritage advisory commission reviewed the application, and would like to see the Brown house relocated within Cloverdale, and the owner has been referred to the Cloverdale BIA, Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, Surrey Heritage Society, or the Vancouver Heritage Foundation to see if they are aware of anyone who would be willing to undertake the relocation.

“The City of Surrey has no option of where these homes should go anymore,” Reid said. “They had a plan and the plan died,” he added. “The city should ultimately provide the land if they want to do this heritage thing up right.”

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