Suburban communities all over Canada and North America are rethinking their future as it relates to real estate development and community building. Here in BC, Surrey is a prime example. With Mayor Dianne Watts at the helm, one of the largest suburbs in North America is shifting its sights from sprawling lots to focused sustainability centred on compact communities.
On March 31st 2010, Watts outlined her Build Surrey program, which focuses on growth in clean technology industries and community over the next decade. The plan will position Surrey as a premier investment location and leader in the sustainability sector. Surrey is just one North American suburb in need of a makeover that is calling out to developers, ï¿½Come here! We love you!ï¿½
As increasing numbers of suburban communities begin to realize their attraction goes beyond the standard family unit (weï¿½re talking two cars, two children and a dog), developers need to be on their toes to seize these opportunities at the outset. More and more, non-traditional suburban aficionados (weï¿½re talking hipsters and young couples) are making the move out of the urban core and into the suburban wilds. What will make them feel at home?
Think: city vibe in the ï¿½burbs. Imagine: a community development surrounded by nature, but just around the corner from a busy coffee shop, a cool Italian deli and an intimate restaurant that makes the perfect bouillabaisse. Thereï¿½s no need for a car here ï¿½ï¿½ even your job will be accessible by foot or transit.
For Canadian developers focused on suburban development, Surrey is worth checking out, especially in these early stages. These days, you cannot turn a corner without someone touting the benefits of living sustainably, but itï¿½s rare to see someone actually doing it on this scale, and with this kind of success. Nowï¿½s your chance to gather information about the process, and learn a thing or two that you can use for your own big plans, as this massive suburb works to reinvent itself.
With urban real estate continuing to increase in price it behooves us to look once more to the suburbs where far-sighted local governments are encouraging developments with an urban twist that appeal to a younger and trendier market.
Bottom line; the suburbs are the new frontier for developers.