NEWS
03/31/2016 13:53 EDT | Updated 04/01/2017 01:12 EDT

Surrey's Little India Plaza is taking shape

Five brightly coloured buildings that will soon become Little India Plaza  are starting to sprout up behind a construction wall in Surrey.

"You can tell that it's got exceptionally vibrant colours outside and I think that's reflecting the spices, I guess," said Surrey councillor Tom Gill of the massive outdoor mall on 128th Street near 80th Avenue.

"I'm hopeful that those vibrant colours bring additional value to the site and make it a unique shopping destination."

The plaza, which was originally scheduled to open last year, is now expected to complete sometime in the fall.

Most of the available office and retail space has been leased.

"This location is a shopping opportunity for those that would be coming from abroad," Gill said.

"The high end stores that will be locating here will be attracting consumers, south Asians and other community members."

Competitive Market

Little India Plaza is wedged between York Centre and Payal Centre, two other outdoor malls that feature south Asian bridal stores, beauty shops and restaurants.

Sunny Khurana moved his clothing store Guru Bazaar to York Centre in 2012.

Previously, it was a pillar of the Punjabi Market District on Main Street in Vancouver for 43 years.

He moved his store because most of his customers were coming from Surrey.

"When you're in Vancouver, you're kind of out of the way," Khurana said.

"When you're in Surrey, we're first on the customer's list and that's a very big advantage."

Khurana believes a new outdoor mall will be good for his business, even if it means more competition.

"We actually have better parking so I think what's going to happen is when people go there, they will come to York Centre," Khurana said.