CIBT Education Group Inc is pleased to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the WestStone Group, a leading real estate development company in Western Canada, to construct the GEC Education Mega Center in Surrey, B.C. The project is expected to cost approximately $230 million. The parties plan on finalizing the formal Purchase and Sale Agreement on or before October 31, 2016 while preparations for the development application are underway.
“International student enrolment across British Columbia has been growing at an astonishing rate of 25 per cent since 2014, generating over $5 billion in gross income for the province,” said CIBT Education Group President and CEO Toby Chu.
“This is despite the fact that B.C. not only has some of the most expensive real estates in the country but also vacancy rates of 0.3 percent forcing students to live in expensive buildings that aren’t necessarily close in proximity to their school,” he added.
CIBT is an “education management company focused on the global market since 1994,” according to a release. It owns and operates a network of business, technical and language colleges in North America and Asia, such as Sprott Shaw College, offering programs in 12 countries with campuses, recruitment offices and training centres enrolling more than 8,000 students a year.
The company offers recognized business and management degrees, programs in college preparation, healthcare, hotel management, tourism, English language training and more.
The would-be education centre is set to be located in City Centre, between SFU Surrey and the future Kwantlen Polytechnic University at 10240 135th Street.
Levels one to three would offer amenities including a food court, student lounge, computer centre, electronic library and conference rooms as well as office space for education consultants.
Levels four to 20 would be leased to educational institutions as their satellite campus in Surrey.
Residential suites on levels 26 to 35 would be designed for long-term stay international students and the remaining levels 36 to 50 would be “flagship student hotels” for short-term stays students and visitors.
Brian Regehr, president and CEO of WestStone Group, said he is “delighted to be adding an exceptional education component to the city centre to complement and enhance those already here.”
“We are proud to be building in the city and watching it evolve into British Columbia’s next great metro centre,” said Regehr in a release. “In a few more years Surrey will overtake Vancouver in terms of its population, the momentum is happening now and through exciting new developments and infrastructure, such as our proposed Education Mega Centre, a true 21st Century city is emerging.”