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Plans unveiled for Surrey's tallest building

SURREY - Century Group unveiled plans for a 50-storey mixed-use hotel and residential project on Thursday that president Sean Hodgins says will be "the best address in Surrey."

The project, called "3 Civic Plaza," is a partnership between Century Group and Surrey City Development Corporation (SDCD) and will be located at the crossroads of City Parkway and 104th Avenue.

At 517 feet high, it will be the tallest building in Surrey and on this side of the Fraser, and will be the fifth tallest in all of the Lower Mainland, Century Group says.

Hodgins said in 55 years of doing business, this is Century Group's most exciting project and said it will be in "ground zero" of Surrey's new downtown core.

"Investing in the new Surrey City Centre is essential to create the conditions for success - the kind of place we can all be proud to call home," Hodgins said.

Located in the heart of Surrey's City Centre, 3 Civic Plaza will join the City Centre Library and the new Surrey City Hall in creating a civic plaza as an outdoor living space.

The project will include a "boutique" hotel called the Civic Hotel. The hotel will feature 160 guest rooms, include meeting space to accommodate over 300 people and will be backed by an international reservation system.

Approximately 330 residential units will be located above the hotel, and will have impressive views of Surrey and beyond.

Standing in the Bing Thom-designed City Centre library during the project's unveiling, Mayor Dianne Watts said the building will be an "iconic piece" for the City of Surrey.

"3 Civic Plaza is a great example of how change, innovation and collaborative partnerships will help bring our vision for Surrey City Centre to life," Watts said. "Projects like these will help us create vibrant, livable, sustainable communities and prepare Surrey for growth in the coming years."

Watts also said Century Group has been a great partner in the project.

"They understand what we want," she said, adding they've worked with the city to incorporate sustainable components into the building's design, such as having its own geo exchange system.

"This is a great day. I know you'll be absolutely thrilled with the product that is being unveiled today and the finished product," Watts said.

Jim Cox, president of Surrey City Development Corporation, said he is thrilled to be involved in the project.

"It's going to animate that plaza and it's going to be a landmark in Surrey's skyline," Cox said.

Anita Huberman, CEO of Surrey Board of Trade, said the building is going to revitalize Surrey.

"It's going to bring more business to Surrey and it's going to bring more cultural amenities to Surrey. One third of Surrey's population is under 19 and they're going to be in their 20s soon. We want them to stay in Surrey to work, live and play," she said.

"I think 50 or 60 years ago, no one really knew Surrey would grow in terms of population growth and in terms of the vision we're seeing today - an image and vision for Surrey that's exciting and creative."

Huberman said mixed-use hotel and residential buildings are often seen in metropolitan cores.

"It's quite common in Toronto and European cities, we also see it in downtown Vancouver where they need to expand up. It really is a lifestyle experience, with residential, retail, hotel and cultural amenities in one space. It all fits together into one, into a village."

While Huberman was glad to see the project included a meeting space that could accommodate over 300 people, she would like to see more large spaces that could serve the business community.

"We have the Sheraton (Vancouver Guildford Hotel), which can fit about 500 people, but for us, we'd like to see more large five-star professional spaces. We'd like to host more conferences in Surrey and it would bring more business to the city."

Elizabeth Model, executive director of the Downtown Surrey BIA, said the new building will "change the space, the face and the place" of Surrey.

"I like the synergy of everything. It compliments everything happening in the civic plaza. Between the new city hall, the Bing Thom library and now this 3 Civic Plaza, the whole area is going to change," Model said.

The project joins many other recent developments and additions in the area, such as Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus, Surrey Memorial Hospital's expansion and the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.

Residential sales are expected to begin in October, and the project is hoped to be complete by the fall of 2015.

For more information visit www.3CivicPlaza.ca.