Members of the public will have a chance to learn about a proposal for three buildings ranging in height from 12 to 24 storeys in Semiahmoo Town Centre. A second virtual information meeting is scheduled for today (Feb. 25) and full details are also available at www.aplinmartin.com/semiahmoo. (First Capital photo rendering)

Members of the public will have a chance to learn about a proposal for three buildings ranging in height from 12 to 24 storeys in Semiahmoo Town Centre. A second virtual information meeting is scheduled for today (Feb. 25) and full details are also available at www.aplinmartin.com/semiahmoo. (First Capital photo rendering)

Public voice concerns about Semiahmoo highrises during virtual meeting

Proposed development could be delayed by ‘marketing philosophy’

A virtual public information meeting Tuesday morning gave fewer than expected residents a first detailed look at a mixed-use development that would bring two highrises and a midrise to the northwest corner of Semiahmoo Town Centre.

A total of 21 people logged on to the Zoom meeting, said planner Anya Paskovic of Aplin & Martin Consultants, who are shepherding the application proposal through the approval process on behalf of client First Capital.

The site – stretching from 152 Street around the curve of 18 Avenue and Martin Drive to past Southmere Crescent – currently includes a Coast Capital Credit Union branch, a Dollar Tree dollar store and a Chevron gas station.

The development would create a 24-storey tower and a 21-storey tower, plus a 12-storey midrise building. It would also involve an extension of Southmere Crescent and would create a community park on Martin Drive.

Concerns raised in questions to a panel including First Capital development manager Simon Bajt, architect Tom Bunting of Formosis, Aplin & Martin planners, and Surrey city planners, were predictable.

READ ALSO: Semiahmoo Centre highrise application discussed

People wanted to know how infrastructure would be upgraded in preparation for the project, what allowance would be made for parking, whether water supply would be sufficient in case of a highrise fire, and whether the development would challenge Surrey Fire’s existing equipment.

They received assurances from City of Surrey planner Keith Broersma and community planner Kristen Lassonde that the project was being prepared in close consultation with the city on infrastructure needs, and that water and fire implications of the development would receive full review by city engineers and the fire department.

Bunting said the project would create 700 parking spaces to serve 600 units, would add improved sidewalks and upgrade trees and landscaping in the area. Aplin & Martin planner Stephen Hallingham also noted the project is being designed not to impact operations of the Semiahmoo Centre mall.

In pre-submitted questions, participants also wanted to know what the timeline for development was, whether all the buildings would be built at the same time, who would be the potential buyers of residential units, and whether rents for commercial tenants in the building would go up enough to create a ‘ghost town’ effect in the town centre.

They were told that First Capital, who filed the development application with Surrey in October 2019, were aiming to receive final approvals for the rezoning and development permit by the latter part of 2022.

But residents heard they might not see construction on the site begin immediately.

“It’s still up in the air,” Bajt said.

“We’re hoping to have third reading by the end of 2021… (but building) is dependent on marketing philosophy. It is market-driven. One building is likely to go (up) at a time.”

He said that while it was likely that commercial rents would go up over existing rates on the site, First Capital makes a policy of creating retail property that is “attractive” to clients.

Bunting said residential units in the building would provide a mix of options, with studio apartments representing around 15 per cent of units, one-bedroom apartments representing around 40 per cent of units. Around 30 per of units would have two or more bedrooms, he said.

Another virtual public information meeting is scheduled for Thursday (Feb. 25) from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., as a Zoom meeting accessible through www.aplinmartin.com/semiahmoo

In addition, the website can be visited any time up to March 11 for more information on the proposal and to fill out a comment form. For more information, email openhouse@aplinmartin.com

For those unable to access the internet, call 604-639-3456 for more information on how to participate.



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of Surreydevelopment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman crosses 176th Street in Cloverdale April 12, 2021. 176th will not host Cloverdale Market Days this year as the popular street fest is just the latest casualty in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale Market Days cancelled again

Organizer says popular street fest will return in 2022

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions against new model; BCSS and its board in favour

Vintage scrapbooks gave way to Instagram and Facebook. (Photo: Ursula Maxwell-Lewis)
COLUMN: Prince Philip just got on with it—to our surprise

Ursula Maxwell-Lewis reflects on the passing Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

The Delta Police Department’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit: (from left) Const. Joel Thirsk, analyst Jody Johnson and Staff Sgt. Sukh Sidhu. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police respond to rising number of hate crimes

Police have received 15 reports so far in 2021, compared to 12 in all of 2020

Researchers say residents should leave sleeping bats alone while they exit hibernation. (Cathy Koot photo)
Spring ‘signal’ brings White Rock, Surrey bats out of hibernation

Community Bat Programs of BC says it’s best to leave sleeping bats alone

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Most Read