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Surrey's tech hub gets housing boost from private partnership

First time a residential component is included in Surrey's health and tech district
A rendering of City Centre 4 and City Centre 5, once completed, in Surrey's health and technology district.

A private partnership is set to shake up the kind of space that will be found in Surrey’s health and technology district.

Western Community College (WCC) will be working with development and construction company Lark Group and real estate investment firm ICT Group to build 500 units of student and faculty housing, according to a March 6 announcement.

This is the first time a building in the health and technology district will include housing.

The already completed City Centre 1, 2 and 3 are office buildings with medical and research clinics, technology companies and academic institutions. There is also potential for short-term housing for local health-care institutions to be included.

Meanwhile, WCC will be expanding its campus into the new City Centre 5 building, slated for completion in the third quarter of 2028.

“Recognizing the challenges many students face in securing suitable accommodation, we are pioneering efforts to provide housing facilities for 500 students and faculty,” WCC president Gurpal Dhaliwal said in a statement.

“As the first private institution in Surrey to tackle this issue head-on, we reaffirm our commitment to student success and well-being.”

These expansions aim to accommodate not only Surrey’s growing population but increasing demand for the college’s hospitality, health and technology programs.

Surrey’s population is projected to reach 707,625 by 2025, up from an estimated population of 662,561 in 2023, according to B.C. Stats.

“The City of Surrey will soon become B.C.’s largest city and is forecasted to have a population of one million people as early as 2042,” Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke said in a statement. “The investment being made today will pay dividends in bolstering health care in Surrey over the long term.”

WCC is not the only post-secondary institution to occupy space in the area. The University of British Columbia has purchased square footage within the City Centre 1 building for their Midwifery and Master of Physical Therapy program for the South of Fraser area.

City Centre 4 is currently under construction with a target completion date in the fourth quarter of 2025. Located near Surrey Memorial Hospital, the area caters to technology companies, scientists, educational institutions, and health professionals. Once completed it will feature nine buildings.

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