Being one of the best new blogs around, Paul’s Civic Surrey has been capturing and detailing several new development and construction projects in the city. One post that recently caught my attention was the major overhaul and facelift for Guildford Town Centre:
The Mall is going to get a 414,100 sq. ft. retail expansion – 212,000 sq. ft. of which will be a new Wal-Mart Supercentre. There will be rooftop parking above the Wal-Mart, along with two new parkades featuring 5,870 parking stalls.
The other 212,000 sq. ft. of expansion will be in the south end of the mall, home to a new food court and high-end retail tenants (just like the Metrotown refurb!!). [CivicSurrey]
The Metrotown comparison seems pretty spot on, but toss in the outdoor eliments of Alderwood and you get the overall idea.
The mall has had the same hideous brown tiles and dark glass pyramid ceilings since before I was born. There really hasn’t been much change since the cascading waterfall that was removed to make room for a children’s play zone, and an Old Navy was introduced on the East wing. Wolco is now Wal-Mart (and it still has that flat, incline escalator) and Santa’s Castle is always right outside The Bay (which used to be Woodwards), except for that year the styrofoam in the castle caught fire overnight and they had to keep the mall closed for several hours.
The new plans include a “village”, a “terrace”, polished stone and bistro cafes, wowsa! Guildford is definitely in need of an overhaul and honestly, I’m pretty excited about the new plans. Also, from the looks of the sketches Paul’s posted one image in particular stands out:
Note the Apple iPod posted on the left. It could be a tease, but perhaps it’s a sign of the type of stores they expect to attract at the new mall.
High end retail, promenades and who knows maybe even a Cheesecake Factory or PF Chang’s China Bistro. Whatever it is, I’m glad they’re using their existing mall land/parking space and not taking over some salmon habitat as seems to be the norm with developments in Surrey these days.