Extreme makeover: your turn to view Cloverdale mall plans

Patrick Cotter

It’s nearly the end of the line for the Cloverdale Mall.

The sprawling, near-vacant mall – described by some as an eyesore – is being torn down to make way for new residential and commercial development, starting with a new home for the Cloverdale Legion – phase one of a revitalization and development plan dubbed Cloverdale West Village.

Branch 6 members and downtown businesses have known about the plan for months.

Now, mere weeks before the old mall is torn down forever, it’s the public’s turn to see what proponents have in store for the site.

On Jan. 18, the public gets its first chance to view redevelopment plans for the mall at an informal drop-in at the Cloverdale Legion (17567 57 Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.

Architects and designers will be on hand to answer questions.

Comments and suggestions are welcome, says Jim Cox, president and CEO of Surrey City Development Corporation, one of the proponents behind the development.

There will be a lot of detail about phase one, which involves building a new home for the Cloverdale Legion on the ground floor of building with residential units and commercial space.

There will also be some general information about the long-term plans for the rest of the eight-acre site bordered by 57 and 58 Avenue between the bypass and 175 Street.

“My sense of the community and certainly the direction we’ve received from the mayor and council is that people want to see something happen,” he said. “It’s kind of a neighbourhood we’re creating.”

The first couple of phases are mostly residential with buildings of four to five storeys at the most, plus commercial space.

“There will be 300 to 400 units of people living there, and that’s got to be good for the merchants of Cloverdale,” Cox said.

While the mall’s expansive, free parking lots – currently abandoned except during busy community events – will disappear, Cox said there will be more people living within the historic downtown.

“The upside is having a community there. It will be reasonably dense, with buildings of four or five storeys at the most. It will create a pretty vibrant area.”

The old mall will be coming down soon, but actual construction on the first phase of development will have to wait while site preparation work is completed.

“There’s quite a bit of work to get this site ready,” he said. “It’s a big project. We intend to get started this year.”