Our inaugural Invest Surrey Launchpad launched to a buzzing room of over 150 executive-level industry leaders, investors, and developers, curious about the latest intelligence behind Surrey’s metropolitan transformation. 14 speakers delivered their stories and analytics on a variety of industries and opportunities over an intelligence-packed day.
Surrey City Centre’s transformation story started 10 years ago when government and academia partnered to ground Surrey City Hall and Simon Fraser University at the heart of Surrey City Centre. Simon Fraser University’s presence, accompanied by City Hall’s later relocation in 2014 served as a catalyst, after which construction building permits have been rising year-over-year. This year, we will also see the completion of 3 Civic Plaza, the tallest tower South of the Fraser at 52 floors and home to Surrey’s first luxury hotel, Civic Hotel.
And this is just the beginning.
We’re talking about Transformation 2.0. We’re talking about seeing Surrey become a nexus for commerce and a nationally-recognized centre for innovation. We are focused on success and, as Mayor Linda Hepner stated, “Success means activating the talent that lives here. Success means building City Centre’s vibrancy. Success means more things to do in the evening. Success means good employment opportunities and, of course, success means improving connectivity.”
Surrey, a hotbed of talent and innovation.
Metro Vancouver’s population growth from 2011 - 2016 has been outpacing Canada’s national growth and, when you look at it from a satellite, the population can only move in one direction. Surrey is right at the main point, once you cross the river, for everything to happen. Already, the City sees 1,000 new residents each month – that’s over 30 people choosing Surrey every single day.
This growth is happening organically and we are here to make sure it happens well.
Within this growing population is tremendous talent. Not only are we attracting immigrant talent from around the world, our local youth are serviced by two major public universities whose leading-edge programs are creating the advanced manufacturing, high-tech, and creative talent that will be fuelling the workforce for our five priority sectors. These universities, Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, are infusing a culture of innovation right into our DNA and actively contributing to the growth of our innovation ecosystem.
“The fact that two public universities have invested in significant campus presences in Surrey City Centre is already attracting talent and companies that are specifically asking to be within close proximity to the growing innovation ecosystem and world-class research capabilities in Surrey. This is transformation,” said Councillor Bruce Hayne, Chair of Surrey’s Investment & Innovation Committee.
Surrey has also been recognized at a regional and international stages for our innovation and intelligence, as we have been twice named ‘Top 7 Intelligent Communities’ by the New York-based Intelligent Community Forum and ‘Best Place for Small Business in Metro Vancouver’ by Vancity Credit Union.
Strategically located for success.
Our location plays second fiddle to no one. Connected by land, air, and sea to international markets, home to two US land border crossings, and the largest modern, multi-purpose marine terminal on the West Coast of North America, this is where you need to be. By the end of this year, 90% of businesses and residents will also have access to high-speed broadband internet.
We are business- and development-friendly.
Not only do we have some of Canada’s lowest business taxes, but we are great at cutting through the red tape for forward-thinking entrepreneurs, businesses, and developers who want an affordable place to call home. In the words of John Hayes of Blackwood Partners, “Surrey has a real can-do attitude.” And from Michael Heeney, who led the SFU Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering campus expansion, “If you get into [Surrey’s fast-track NEXUS] program, the City won’t be slowing you down. It will be your consultants and your contractors that will slow you down. This is unique. I’ve done projects all over the world and I have never had anything move so fast.”
Opportunity-Rich and Investment-Friendly.
We’re growing and we’re looking to grow well. Our new Economic Strategy charts our path over the next 10 years and has highlighted 5 Transformation Opportunities for the City. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, or subscribe to our Insights to stay tuned for a recap of each opportunity over the next few weeks.
Every city claims that you can live, work, and play there. Here, in Surrey, we do more. Live. Work. Play. Innovate. Employ. Repeat. We’ve got the ingredients to go beyond city evolution. We have the ingredients for metropolitan transformation.