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City to Consolidate Staff Working Downtown

Downtown Accommodations Tower

February 06, 2014

The City announced plans today to consolidate approximately 2000 staff members into a single leased building in the heart of the city in 2016. The move will provide a one stop shop for citizens, save future leasing and operating costs and leave funds for other capital priorities.

The City reached agreement with the EAD First Street Building Corporation on a 20-year lease for 350,000 square feet of space in a LEED Gold office accommodations tower. Construction of the new tower to be located at on the corner of 104th Avenue and 101 Street is scheduled to begin soon with a target completion date of late summer 2016. Images of the building are available on our photo gallery.

Council agreed to move ahead with consolidating staff into a single building following the issuing of a request for proposals process. The EAD First Street Building Corporation’s proposal was selected, from 14 submissions, following a comprehensive and detailed evaluation and selection process. The criteria, process and selection was reviewed by an external fairness advisor as well as two additional independent reviewers who reviewed the process. The criteria included both financial and transformational elements.

“We are pleased to be moving forward on this project which will allow us to meet our needs to efficiently and effectively house our staff,” said Gary Klassen, General Manager, Sustainable Development. “The process we used in making this decision was fair and competitive, helps revitalize the heart of our city, and we’ve put the necessary steps in place to minimize the City’s risk and protect taxpayers. As well, leasing allows us to keep our infrastructure dollars for other building projects, such as LRT, roads and libraries which provide more direct benefit to citizens.”

The City currently leases space in five buildings and owns four others where City staff are housed. Three of the City’s major leases, HSBC, CN Tower, and Scotia Place expire on or before March 31, 2016. Consolidation will provide cost avoidance of up to $5 million over the first 5 years based on efficiencies. Discussions are underway to extend current leases until the new building will be available and discussion is underway to determine what will happen with Chancery Hall.

For more information:

Cheryl Oxford

Corporate Communications
Office of the City Manager