Linda Hepner

THE City of Surrey continues to be a major driving force of economic development and investment in the Metro region, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said in her annual State of the City Address this week.

Hepner highlighted how the City is coming off a near record year where building permits nearly topped $1.5-billion and noted how high skilled and high paying jobs are transforming the local economy. Home to Innovation Boulevard and BC’s only Accelerator Centre for Health Technology Commercialization, an estimated 36,000 jobs will be created in Surrey’s innovation economy in the next 10 years.

“The City of Surrey has come a long way in the past few years and we are far from finished,” said Hepner. “While we certainly recognize the challenges that come with change and the kind of phenomenal growth we have seen recently, we are up to the task of shaping a city built on a foundation of innovation, education, and opportunity.”

Hepner also highlighted her Council’s steadfast commitment to building and upgrading public amenities. The 2017 Civic Construction program is budgeted at $241-million and will help fund two new Sport and Ice Complexes (North Surrey and Cloverdale), a new recreation centre and library in Clayton and a major expansion of the Surrey Museum.

The City of Surrey continues to be a favourite location for film and television production with the number of filming days increasing by more than 600 percent since 2011. Currently, more than 5,000 film related jobs have been injected into the local economy.

Hepner also announced a number of city shaping projects to be fast tracked so they can come off the drawing board and into reality:

* SFU’s new Surrey Campus Expansion with the construction of the $126-million Energy Systems Environmental Building designed by Bing Thom Architects.

* The Legion Veteran’s Village that will include Legion space, veterans and market housing and a centre for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder research and treatment for veterans and first responders.

* Discussions underway with the Jim Pattison Development Group to bring a $150-million indoor water park and 400 room hotel family themed resort to South Surrey.

* Concord Pacific Development’s 41 storey LED tower Park Boulevard project. When completed it will be Canada’s first interactive illuminated residential tower, lighting up to mark the arrivals of SkyTrain at King George Station.

* Anthem Properties’ two million square feet development in City Centre which will transform King George Blvd and 102 Ave. with an innovative mixed use of seven residential, commercial, and office towers, retail shops, a restaurant row and vibrant urban green spaces.

The full State of the City Address presentation will be available at www.surrey.ca.

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