The SCDC: Community Driver or Deterrent?

According to President and CEO Aubrey Kelly, the Surrey City Development Corporation (SCDC) was founded on the premise of one question: “How can we advance the lifestyle of residents”? Founded by then Mayor Dianne Watts in 2007, the SCDC aims to facilitate development in the fastest-growing and geographically largest municipality in the Vancouver region. Their purpose is to create a more vibrant, sustainable, and complete community, driving both economic growth and social wellbeing.

Owned completely by the City of Surrey, the SCDC has partnered with a number of established developers like Bosa, Townline, Beedie, and Century Group to grow the city’s skyline. One of these projects includes 3 Civic Plaza, which will combine retail, hotel, office, and residential space, and will introduce a high-end hotel to the area. 

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3 Civic Plaza spearheaded by Century Group | photo: scdc.ca

The SCDC has undergone public criticism, with arguments varying from favoritism towards developers to improperly investing taxpayer’s money in risky developments. At last month’s NAIOP Breakfast event, Kelly explains these types of partnerships are truly 50/50, and debunks the myth that the SCDC is able to fast track projects through City Hall. The benefits of working with established developers allows the City of Surrey to progress on all sectors, including residential, retail, and industrial, because of their expertise and resources; an invaluable asset for a relatively new organization like SCDC.

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SCDC has entered into a partnership with Beedie Development Group and Weir Canada Inc. to develop a 114,000-square-foot custom-built facility to house engineering services and the manufacture of processing equipment for worldwide distribution. | photo: scdc.ca

According to the organization, these types of partnerships are beneficial for all sides. Risk, an inevitable factor for any project, is spread evenly amongst all of those involved. This shared common goal allows both partners to collaborate rather than compete, encouraging more ideas and imagination when it comes to development. An idea, Kelly insists, will only help the City of Surrey to thrive.

To learn more about the SCDC, visit www.scdc.ca.

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