South of the Fraser

Surrey, Delta, White Rock and Langleys

Survey of articles in the business press

Here are snippets from four articles about Surrey from Business in Vancouver's quarterly report on Surrey, from the November 15 edition. The full articles are behind a paywall.



Surrey ramps up its green aspirations

Municipality investing in infrastructure as part of its plans to build a North American clean-energy technology hubBuild the infrastructure and they will come.

That’s the thinking behind Surrey’s bold plans to become an epicentre of clean technologies not only in B.C., but across North America.

From alternative fuels, energy retrofits and a city centre district energy system that will be Canada’s largest closed-loop geothermal system, the city is forging ahead full steam toward realizing its vision, and collecting the odd award along the way for its efforts.

“Cities can play a real key role in terms of looking at clean energy and options,” Mayor Dianne Watts said at the recent Generate 2011 clean energy conference in Vancouver, where she took the stage to outline how Surrey has become, in the words of GE Financial Services Canada chief Mark Tonner, “a model city.”


Central City becoming big business magnet

Bustling new office tower is attracting big-name companies to its offices, including PricewaterhouseCoopers and Fraser Health

Surrey’s city centre is quickly becoming the new lively commercial core of the Fraser Valley, and big businesses are taking note.

The 550,000-square-foot Central City office tower on 102nd Avenue, managed by Blackwood Partners, has seen two big-name tenants move into the building over the last few months: PricewaterhouseCoopers and Fraser Health Authority.

Both companies tout one overwhelming factor behind the decision to choose Surrey for expanding their offices: connecting to people.

As the province’s fastest-growing city, Surrey is ripe for businesses looking to connect with the large client base and innumerable qualified employees between Vancouver and Chilliwack.



BYOB (bring your own bottle)

Surrey company wins board of trade award for concept that reduces reliance on plastic water containersSafeStar Products Co. Ltd. is only a year old, but the Surrey startup appears well on its way to putting a serious dent in the bottled water industry.

SafeStar makes soft-drink-machine-sized dispensers, called Waterfillz, that turn tap water into chilled, filtered, UV-sanitized H2O – the kind you get in bottled water, but without the plastic.

The machines are now in universities across Canada, and company founder and president Paul Wilson is negotiating with some major potential clients to put the machines virtually anywhere you might find a drink machine.



“Watt”age power in Surrey

Business owners voice range of opinions for and against incumbent mayor

Moe Issam leans against a street sign outside his Lucky Convenience storefront that sags between two pawnshops in Surrey’s Whalley area. He says the clean-up-crime campaign over the past few years – a perennial election issue in B.C.’s second largest city – is a double-edged sword.

“There are less drugs and it looks better,” Issam said of an area once best known for hookers and crack houses, “but business is going down, down, down. Nobody is coming back and forth in this area. I haven’t sold any cigarettes all day.”


Info on South of the Fraser River: Surrey, Delta, White Rock, City of Langley, Township of Langley, Fort Langley. Maybe a bit of Abbotsford, just for fun.

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