June 19, 2014 4:11 pm

Edmonton skyline to change with construction of new tower

Watch above:┬áThe City of Edmonton and Edmonton Arena District officials – were breaking ground on a new office tower that will house downtown staff today. Vinesh Pratap was there.

EDMONTON – The City of Edmonton is breaking ground on a new office tower that will house downtown staff.

Approximately two-thirds of city employees working in downtown will work out of the tower when it opens in the fall of 2016.

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“Consolidating thousands of city staff into one building is going to improve our efficiency. It’s going to save time and money for the city, and it’s also going to encourage and nurture a culture of creativity and innovation and collaboration among our staff,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

City staff are currently located in nine buildings in downtown Edmonton. Five of those buildings are leased, four are owned.

The leases on three of the buildings – CN Tower, HSBC Building and Scotia Place – expire on March, 2016.

The 27-storey tower will be located at the corner of 104 Ave. and 101 St.

It’s being developed by a joint venture of two companies: Katz Group and WAM Development Group.

“It will be a beautiful new addition to our skyline and present a new face to the world of a dynamic and progressive city, and it will help bring new life to what we believe will be Canada’s most vibrant, most welcoming and most exciting urban centre,” said Katz Group Chairman Daryl Katz.

Daryl Katz added more announcements will be made in the coming weeks and months about other developments in the downtown arena district.

WAM indicates the building will have a connection to a future hotel among other amenities.

“We are very proud to be designing a building to a LEED Gold standard. We have focused on detailed strategies aimed at reducing water consumption, improving energy efficiency and delivering a high degree of indoor air quality,” explained WAM Development Group CEO Darren Durstling.

The City will lease about 60 per cent of the tower when it opens.

The City says the tower will provide residents a one-stop customer service centre, making it easer for Edmotonians to access services like business and development permits and pet licenses.

“It will also help save capital dollars because we’re not investing money up front to build a new building. It will save those capital projects that citizens told us they want prioritized for projects like LRT and libraries and roads,” said Iveson.

The City will have the right to name the tower.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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