Morgan plan moves ahead

An architect’s drawing of the proposed Morgan Place Development project at 20 Avenue and 161 Street in South Surrey. - Supplied
An architect’s drawing of the proposed Morgan Place Development project at 20 Avenue and 161 Street in South Surrey.
— image credit: Supplied

A proposed commercial and office space development on a 25-acre parcel of property at 20 Avenue, just east of Highway 99 cleared an important hurdle last week, winning approval in the form of a unanimous third reading at a city public hearing (Couns. Mary Martin and Judy Villeneuve were absent, according to the city clerk's record).

The $100 million Morgan Place Developments Ltd. project will include 25,953 sq. m (279,000 sq. ft.) of retail and restaurant uses and 9,662 sq. m (104,000 sq. ft.) of office space.

It will have 1,330 parking stalls, 676 of which will be underground.

Prior to the Oct. 1 public hearing, Thomas Ivanore of  Morgan Place Developments said he was in discussion with "several" anchor tenants, but wouldn't say whether Target was one of them.

A few smaller hurdles remain before the project gets its building permit, including sorting out concerns about the environmental impact of the development.

According to the city clerk's record of the meeting, mayor Dianne Watts said she expects the developer will work with the Little Campbell Watershed Society to fine-tune the design.

In a letter to the city before the hearing, the society said there are two large ecosystem sites in the middle of the proposal, which is located close to the restored Fergus Creek salmon spawning area.

As part of the development, 417 trees will be felled, leaving just 22 of the existing trees.

Coun. Barinder Rasode had earlier expressed concern about the extent of the tree-cutting, but said the applicant won her support through promising to replace the trees on a four-to-one basis by planting 1600, far exceeding city requirements.

Rasode said it also appears the design of the development will improve protection of the nearby environmentally sensitive riparian areas because it will relocate an existing road that runs closer to the area than modern environmental standards allow.

"We're actually moving it back," Rasode told Peace Arch News.

The project is scheduled to be completed by 2015.

- with files from Kevin Diakiw

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