WTS – What the Surrey #36: Condo Crisis

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Whatever happened to the basement suite? Those were the days. Just a few weeks after the Quattro fire (by the way, it’s worth taking a look at some of the comments on that post), Surrey largest development, Infinity at Central City, is now seeking bankruptcy protection.

Photo via Caleb Quinton

The developer of the five-tower Infinity project in North Surrey has filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of the collapse of one of its chief financiers, Lehman Brothers.

Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy Sept. 15 after the U.S. Treasury Department refused to bail the company out in the wake of the global credit market meltdown.

Wednesday’s announcement by the Jung Group, the developer of Infinity, has thrown the future of two highrises – which are part of the second phase currently under construction – into question. [Surrey Leader]

Apparently those who have bought into the projects, put down deposits etc., are safe and everyone is optimistic that these will be completed. However, if you’ve taken a look at the Downtown Surrey plan you’ll notice a dozen more developments in the same general vicinity (with 40 new developments planned in total for the central Surrey area).

Fusion Festival - Holland Park in Surrey

According to the Surrey Leader article, “South Korean businessman Hee Yong Yang, director of Jung Group, is also the developer of the Sky Towers, 36-storey and 40-storey highrises – the tallest between Calgary and Vancouver – that are to be built across the street from Infinity, near King George Highway and Old Yale Road.”

All involved with the Ininifty project however, are looking up and have faith that new financing will be found. Even Surrey’s Mayor, Dianne Watts, blames “Wall Street and the market.” I’m just waiting for the anti-Surrey remarks to start pouring in but given the fact that even Inifnity sold out in mere hours (same with Quattro) I don’t think that the livability of the area is even in question.

8 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Kye GraceThursday, October 16th, 2008 — 10:51am PDT

    I am very supportive of the Surrey Central developments succeeding.

    Most importantly it will combat urban sprawl by creating a second ‘downtown’. Now before everyone goes CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs about that statement, I realize it will never replace the downtown peninsula. It will however create a similar neighborhood with a great mix of residential, commercial/business and educational space. This will give people reasons to not drive to Vancouver, Burnaby Mtn, etc. People out of their cars, or at least out sooner is good for everyone espicially the commuters and their families. They will have what they need at their door step. Even better if they do decide to come west the have the Skytrain right there.

    So for all the Surrey bashers out there (myself included from time to time) this is one part of Surrey we should be cheering for.

    I hope they get this done and find a way to complete the rest of the area in these ‘tougher’ times. It will benefit far more than just the developers and future residents.

    PS No, I won’t be moving there 😉 City boy through and through.

  2. NickThursday, October 16th, 2008 — 11:13am PDT

    Whalley will always be whalley. First the Quattro fire, now this… it’s an area that can’t change much unless they get rid of all the beaten up homes, drug users and dealers, and homeless. I would not buy in that area until it gets cleaned up.

  3. Mort-yThursday, October 16th, 2008 — 11:25am PDT

    @Nick – is there any town in BC or Canada that doesn’t have any of these problems, or all other cities perfect?

  4. MitchThursday, October 16th, 2008 — 12:16pm PDT

    Knowing a little more about this than most people, I agree with your statements – Surrey has and frankly always will get a bad reputation – partially based on reality, but partially based on the fact that Surrey has few places to go but up…

    Quick thing, where you say Sky Towers are going is wrong…

    They aren’t going adjacent to Holland Park, but are rather on 100th, just to the East of the Infinity Project (not across KGH).


  5. Miss604Thursday, October 16th, 2008 — 12:20pm PDT

    @ Mitch – cool thanks, so off of E Whalley Ring Rd…

  6. Urban DwellerThursday, October 16th, 2008 — 12:50pm PDT

    @ Kye Grace – I think you hit it bang on. We need a second downtown. Surrey is trying hard and it looks like they were too late to get in on this development boom. We’ll see more positive changes in the next cycle. Will it be the second downtown it dreams to be? Maybe, but the city centre plan was atrocious and office development is there but there are no good tenants. Most of the tenants look to Vancouver and Burnaby and to a lessor extent Richmond. That is not meant to be offensive to Surrey, but nothing about Central City screams urbanism and vibrancy, yet. Until they solve that issue they will continue to have difficulties attracting top flight organizations to Surrey. Those are the facts, ask anyone in the business community and 75% would rather pay more in rent than move out to Surrey.

    The Sky towers development is also facing financial issues. However since it is a phased development it won’t be canceled. Just delayed. Even downtown is not immune to this credit crunch. North Van is also facing issues and so are probably other project around the metro area. We’ll here more and more about this in the upcoming weeks and months. The boom is over its time to rejig our financial outlays.

    Note: I’ve been noted to bash Surrey from time to time. But I bash Vancouver for some of their idiotic moves as well.

  7. Kye GraceThursday, October 16th, 2008 — 11:06pm PDT

    @Urban Dweller You raise an interesting point, perhaps the climb is a bit tougher for Surrey as they have an uphill battle based on reputation. I just think there is merit for getting something done on that side of bridge, especially once you will have to pay to cross it.

    @Nick…wrong. Do some research on Yaletown. Guess what was still happening at Davie and Homer as late as 1998 and that is where they had pushed to by that time. I’ll help, male prostitution and drug dealing. Guess where they were before that?

    How about the Woodwards building and other developments on the downtown eastside?

    History shows the development comes first and changes the atmosphere of the neighborhood, not chasing out the ‘undesirable’ and hoping they stay away long enough to get 5000 new residents into yet to be built high rise developments.

    Perhaps there is an issue with pricing of commercial and residential space and they need to accept less to get the momentum built and shift the neighborhood to the ‘next great space’.

    Then Nick will move in… 😉

  8. Monday Morning Link Fest: Welcome to Movember » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittMonday, November 3rd, 2008 — 3:01am PST

    […] though there is a slight condo crisis in Surrey at the moment, plans continue for developments that include 70-storey towers. [Surrey […]

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