The public will have an opportunity next week to see details of a proposed residential tower development – planned for 152 Street at 19 Avenue – which could also help create a cultural hub in South Surrey.
A drop-in information meeting on the as-yet unnamed proposal will be held from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday Oct. 22, at the Rotary Field House, 14600 Rotary Way, featuring presentations by architect Patrick Cotter, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The private development would include a 350-seat performing-arts centre and a contemporary arts centre cafe/gallery, as well as two condominium towers and office and retail space.
Surrey Parks Recreation and Culture manager Laurie Cavan said the project – while still at the design proposal stage, with no specific timeline for development – presents “tremendous opportunities for the South Surrey community at large.”
The performing-arts component, fronting on 19 Avenue, is described as a proscenium theatre, studio theatre and rehearsal hall and dressing rooms, as well as offices and support spaces, totalling 22,000 sq. ft.
The contemporary arts centre component would include a cafe on 152 Street connected to gallery and exhibit spaces totalling 6,900 sq. ft.
A marquee plaza at the corner of 19 Avenue and 152 Street would provide access to the main lobby of the theatre, and lead to a pedestrian mews along 152 with cafe seating and outdoor space for the arts centre.
The current design includes up to 350 residential units, divided between a 26-storey tower and a 19-storey tower.
“It’s consistent with the Cultural Strategic Plan, which council adopted in 2011-2012, and which emphasizes cultural opportunities decentralized across the city,” Cavan said.
Cavan said management of the arts component would be key to achieving the full economic benefit for surrounding businesses – as well as achieving the “best outcome for local cultural groups.”
“We’re still working out how that could be accomplished – there are a number of different models that have proven successful in the city ranging from the Surrey Arts Centre, which is run by the city, to the Newton Cultural Centre, which is run by the Surrey Arts Council,” she said.
“Maximum utilization of the space is important to providing vibrancy. It could be a tremendous asset to the community.”
Display boards will highlight the latest information on the plan at the meeting, while Cotter and other members of the project team will be available to answer questions and receive feedback.