Mayor promises big things for north and south Surrey
Linda Hepner is also assuring Newton residents that their time is coming
In her annual state of the city address, Surrey, B.C. mayor Linda Hepner promised to fast track six to eight major construction projects in the city each year.
She says if she receives a proposal that will transform the city in a positive way, she wants to cut the time of the approval process in half.
"First on the list is SFU's new science, engineering and energy building designed by the late Bing Thom," Hepner said.
"In choosing to accelerate the SFU building, I am accelerating the emerging university district in city centre."
Hepner also pointed to the proposed Legion Veterans Village, a family-themed resort that includes an indoor water park, and a 400-room hotel as candidates for accelerated approvals.
The SFU building and Veterans Village will be located in the City Centre area and the waterpark and hotel are proposed for south Surrey.
What about Newton?
Hepner didn't mention any projects in Newton, which has the largest population of any neighbourhood Surrey.
Newton residents have complained in that while council has focused on building up the northern and southern parts of the city, they've been forgotten.
Hepner says that's not the case and she promises substantial announcements are coming in the near future.
"We have a lot of things, irons in the fire, but I just wasn't ready to talk about them here today," she said.
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Newton Business Improvement Association Director Philip Aguirre says he's hopeful that when the mayor makes her state of the city address in 2018, his community will be featured more prominently.
"Newton is in the heart of the city," he said.
"It has themes and brands that have been negative in the past here and we're also looking for a theme for Newton, which is turning it into a cultural entertainment district and developing a strategy."