Calgary Herald Article: Calgary City Centre development moving forward
36-storey office skyscraper planned
By Mario Toneguzzi, For the Calgary Herald | April 4, 2012
CALGARY – Phase 1 of the Calgary City Centre development site in the downtown is moving forward with a planned 36-storey office skyscraper.
Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited said the first phase of the downtown project will include the tower comprising 853,032 square feet with a retail podium, and five levels of underground parking with 632 stalls.
The building will be complete for the first tenant occupancy by March 2016.
The Phase 1 office tower is part of a larger mixed-use development which incorporates office, retail, a five-star hotel and luxury condominium residences.
The development covers a full city block of 3.2 acres, located at 2nd Street S.W. and 3rd Avenue S.W. in the Eau Claire area.
“Calgary City Centre reinforces Cadillac Fairview’s strategy of expanding our core property assets, office and retail, in key urban markets. Through Calgary City Centre and our recently-expanded Chinook Centre, we are committed to, and investing in the long-term future of Calgary,” said John Sullivan, president and chief executive of Cadillac Fairview.
Bruce Graham, president and chief executive for Calgary Economic Development, said the city’s downtown office leasing market experienced a record-breaking year in 2011 following a strong year in 2010.
“It’s a reflection of the optimism. It’s a reflection that we’re into a new development cycle as the projected space availability has literally vanished before our eyes far more quickly than expected,” he said. “There’s a very strong possibility that in the downtown office market we’re going to be at virtually zero vacancy rates, certainly in our Class A office space, before long. If this absorption trend continues, we’re going to run out of space before we get new space built.
“It puts pressure on the development community and the city to fast-track the development and building of new product.”
Wayne Barwise, executive vice-president of development of Cadillac Fairview, said the company is transforming a significant business area of the city by connecting four city blocks with three Plus-15 bridges.
“Our mixed-use development will create a vibrant and active streetscape with office, retail, residential, dining and hotel facilities,” he said. “Additionally, the office building will expand our portfolio and provide state-of-the-art premises for the growth of many of our corporate clients.”
Barwise said the vacancy rate for premium office space in downtown Calgary is one of the lowest in North America at 1.3 per cent.
“Office occupancy levels in Calgary correlate very closely to oil and gas capital expenditures. And at this point in time there is a tremendous amount, over $60 billion in oil and gas capital expenditures, that’s taking place. That is the primary catalyst,” he said, adding that looking at office vacancy historically in Calgary shows a direct correlation between declining vacancy and increasing capital investment.
He said all the new space built in the last development cycle, almost six million square feet, has been absorbed and if you are an office tenant today looking to expand there’s little contiguous space available over 50,000 square feet.
Phase 1 highlights include: the second floor of the office tower will be connected to the Plus-15 walkway system via three bridge connections across 2nd (to Livingston Place) and 3rd Streets S.W. (to the Devon Tower) and 3rd Avenue S.W. (to Jamieson Place); an expansive two-storey office lobby will run along 2nd Street S.W. with a landscaped courtyard extending from the lobby to 3rd Street; the typical floor plate size is 26,782 square feet, providing for efficient office areas and the potential for eight corner offices per floor; and five levels of underground parking with 632 stalls will be available, including bicycle lockers and showers located at grade and on level P1.
The office tower has been designed by Zeidler BKDI Architects and the prime contractor is PCL Constructors Inc.
Construction is scheduled to begin in May...
To read the rest of this article visit The Calgary Herald
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald