Telus plans $750-million headquarters, condo project in downtown Vancouver

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      Telus plans to create a new national headquarters in downtown Vancouver as part of a $750-million redevelopment project.

      The plan calls for a 22-storey office tower and 44-storey residential tower to be built on a block bounded by Robson, Georgia, Seymour, and Richards.

      To create the proposed complex, Telus has partnered with Westbank Corp. and Henriquez Partners Architects, both with connections to the downtown Woodwards development. The new Telus project is to include 500,000 square feet of office space, 500 units of housing, and retail space.

      Details of the planned project were unveiled today (March 9) during a news conference at the Telus location on Robson Street.

      Telus CEO and president Darren Entwistle said the project will inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy and revitalize the surrounding area.

      Titled Telus Garden, the project is being designed to meet high internationally recognized standards for environmental sustainability, the company says. It is to include an energy-efficient heat-recovery system, solar arrays, and rooftop gardens, among other green features.

      “Our new Vancouver home will set a compelling precedent in design, innovation and construction excellence and will radically transform this downtown block into one of the most technologically and environmentally advanced sites in the world,” Entwistle said.

      The plan to build a new national headquarters in Vancouver has support from Mayor Gregor Robertson.

      “For Telus to make such an investment in Vancouver is a big vote of confidence in our local economy,” Robertson said.

      The mayor, who has pushed to establish Vancouver as an international “green capital”, said the complex belongs in the city.

      Telus has submitted a rezoning application to the City of Vancouver. A public hearing is expected sometime this summer.

      The national telecommunications company already owns much of the property on the city block and has entered a purchase agreement for the parkade at Richards and Georgia owned by the city.

      Entwistle said Telus will “leverage” those real estate holdings to pay for its share of the project in a way that won’t “strain” the company’s finances. The company also says it will draw on revenue from the lease and sale of space in the planned complex.

      Construction is slated to start this fall and finish in 2015.

      “Telus Garden will not just be a breathtaking place to live and to work but also an architectural icon setting a new standard for environmental stewardship,” Entwistle said.

      You can follow Stephen Thomson on Twitter at twitter.com/thomsonstraight.

      Comments

      13 Comments

      Second Nation

      Mar 9, 2011 at 11:50am

      This is good news (for people who like jobs in Vancouver and high-density urban environments).

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      not a fan of telus but it is good news

      Mar 9, 2011 at 12:19pm

      Good news. I never forgave Telus for buying BC Tel and changing its name to Telus, and switched to Bell. Telus sounds like toilet paper and the Telus commercials with the dumb animals make me cringe!

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      Anything the rich want is great with me

      Mar 9, 2011 at 2:50pm

      I can hardly wait to see yet another new condo project that 96.34% of Vancouverites cannot afford. It reminds yet again that this city is run by and for corporate elites and off shore money. Ain't it grand! And soooooooooo grrrrrreeeennnn!

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      Fan'o Truth

      Mar 9, 2011 at 3:49pm

      @Anything the rich want is great with me
      Ain't it grand! And soooooooooo grrrrrreeeennnn!

      Well said! The only green thing Vancouverism promotes is found in bank accounts.

      The "news" coverage of these ventures is always breathless and fawning, forever polishing up the green sheen. And when the owners of the Canucks are charged under the Water Act with violations, zippo coverage. The media don't want to embarass them, they're important property developers too!

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      optimist

      Mar 9, 2011 at 5:43pm

      This is awesome news. I see people complaining and all that but folks think about it for a minute 750 million dollars pumped into vancouver alone. The massive construction will bring tons of jobs as well. Construction workers, architects, electricians.plumberslist goes on. I support telus for this. Vancouver need jobs. When was the last time i heard other telecoms pumping that much in BC even?

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      Steve Y

      Mar 10, 2011 at 6:27am

      NDPers like "anything the rich want" and "fan'o" will never be happy when a job is created or somebody is making money. I just hope to god they don't get to take over BC when the next election hits. They are going to be a complete disaster.

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      Scott T

      Mar 10, 2011 at 2:52pm

      The image with this story seems funny, the public library is too close... what happened to the block of small buildings between richards and homer?

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      Jjsidls

      Mar 10, 2011 at 4:26pm

      Great news! More jobs for Vancouver! The suburbs have been stealing jobs from Vancouver for too long.

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      Vancouver will be a bland resort suburb

      Mar 10, 2011 at 6:31pm

      The clowns cheering on the developers and landlords above are supporting the suburbanization of Vancouver. Downtown Vancouver will become a sterile resort-like suburb, with more in common with dismal communities such as Whistler BC, West Vancouver or Richmond than any sort of the urban area. Coal Harbour is the heart of darkness of this colourless suburban wasteland. You clowns will inherit this town, no one with character will remain here. And you can all go to sports bars and listen to top 40 classic rock. Whoopee.

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      Scott Blackstone

      Mar 10, 2011 at 7:31pm

      This is awesome, now Telus can rip off Canadian customers and house Chinese speculators at the same time!

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