The site of the Peace Arch Professional building

The site of the Peace Arch Professional building

South Surrey mid-rise on track after seven-year hiatus

Seniors complex set to break ground on three South Surrey lots along 16 Avenue.

As White Rock council prepares to make a decision on whether an eight-storey complex-care facility will be built at 1550 Oxford St., proponents of a luxury seniors’ residence planned for a few blocks east in South Surrey are gearing up to start building.

“It’s going to be fabulous for the seniors of South Surrey,” Judy Freeman, executive vice-president and chief executive officer at PrimeTime Living, said of Abby Lane Retirement Residence.

Construction on Abby Lane – also eight-storeys – has been on hold for nearly seven years.

Freeman confirmed last week that work is back on track.

“It is underway. It’s not a shovel in the ground or a tree coming down at this moment but it is underway,” Freeman told Peace Arch News.

The move follows the final adoption in December of necessary zoning and Official Community Plan amendments for three lots, at 15285, 15291 and 15321 16 Ave.

The project was originally described as a 200-unit strata and rental complex. It was to be the first building in Surrey to exceed the city’s four-floor cap – something residents of the day strongly opposed.

According to minutes of Surrey’s Dec. 16 land-use meeting, the rezoning permits an eight-storey, mixed-use complex comprising a retirement and independent-living facility, medical offices and limited retail space.

On PrimeTime Living’s website, Abby Lane is described as “the utmost in luxury and services… designed for the discerning, independent senior.”

It is to include an in-house theatre, luxurious private suites, scheduled activities and onsite professional services such as medical, dental and physiotherapy.

Freeman said she would elaborate next month on exactly what the facility will look like.

She cited the lead-up to the 2010 Olympics as explanation, in part, for the project’s years-long delay.

“The cost of construction went through the roof,” Freeman said. “Then after that, we hit the economic wall, which stopped all business in Canada.”

She said the PrimeTime Living team is “extremely excited” about finally being able to move ahead.

“We just want to make sure that this is going to be the right thing, that it’s going to be done the right way.”