Mar. 9, 2011 (Canada NewsWire Group) --
$750-million, one-million square foot project will radically transform
aging downtown block
into one of the most technologically and environmentally-advanced sites in the world
VANCOUVER, March 9 /CNW/ - TELUS is building itself a new home in downtown Vancouver.
Named TELUS Garden, the development will radically transform an aging block of downtown Vancouver into a beautiful architectural icon of advanced technology, environmental stewardship and new work styles.
The million-square foot, $750 million project will see almost the entire block of prime downtown real estate bounded by Georgia, Robson, Seymour and Richards rebuilt into one of the most technologically and environmentally-advanced sites of commerce, employment and living in the world. It will create half a million square feet of much-needed new office space available for multiple tenants and 500 new residential units, all setting new standards for environmental sustainability. The 22-storey signature office tower will be the first building in Canada built to the new 2009 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standard and the 44-storey residential tower will be built to the LEED Gold standard. The development will build upon TELUS' best practices from our new homes in central Canada including the LEED Gold certified TELUS House Ottawa, the LEED Gold built TELUS House Toronto and the LEED Silver built Place TELUS Quebec City.
"TELUS Garden will exemplify the TELUS brand and be a truly amazing destination for our team members, the community and the city," said Darren Entwistle, TELUS president and CEO. "Our vision is that TELUS Garden will be a beautiful and unique location where leading-edge technology, urban living, environmental sustainability and tomorrow's work styles are elegantly integrated into a vibrant community. This development, which will inject millions of dollars into our economy, will highlight TELUS' advanced communications technologies and environmental innovation in a way never before seen. TELUS Garden will be a breathtaking place to live and work, an architectural icon that will consume 30 per cent less energy thanks to its responsible, leading-edge design. It will be a celebrated urban oasis that is literally alive with plant life and showcases our great province's arts and culture."
The landmark development reinforces TELUS' commitment to the City of Vancouver, and will make a significant contribution to the city's goal of becoming the greenest city in the world. Once complete, TELUS' new headquarters will be unique in North America, featuring 10,000 square feet of green roofs providing organic produce for local restaurants, two elevated roof forests, British Columbia artwork, LED lighting on the western façade projecting programmable coloured images on to fritted glass, and media walls where cultural events such as symphony concerts can be broadcast to the public.
The project's construction will pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy and create three million person-hours of employment during construction, scheduled to begin this fall and be complete in 2015. Once complete, the development will open up new residential, retail and commercial space animating the lower end of Robson Street and create a vibrant link to the cultural and sports centres of the city. Once occupied, the site's business and residential tenants will contribute an estimated $8 - $10 million in new tax revenue to the city annually.
"The fact that TELUS is choosing to build a new national headquarters in Vancouver is a great vote of confidence in our local economy," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. "Their proposal to build to LEED Platinum is extremely ambitious and sends a signal that in Vancouver, going green is good for business and the environment. I'm very excited that they are investing in Vancouver - we've worked hard to build a competitive climate for business, and when companies like TELUS choose to expand their presence it is great for creating new jobs and economic spin-offs in our city."
TELUS has partnered with Westbank to lead the project, and has engaged Henriquez Partners as the architect that is designing the iconic development. TELUS will fund its share of the development predominantly through leveraging its existing real estate holdings in this block, coupled with the sale and lease of space in the new buildings. The investment is consistent with TELUS' overall capital expenditure target for 2011 and longer term capital intensity goals. TELUS has just entered into an agreement to purchase the city-owned parkade at the corner of Georgia and Richards, consolidating the entire block, other than the Kingston Hotel, to create a unified development.
Since 2000, TELUS has invested more than $24 billion in B.C. infrastructure and operations. TELUS is investing $1.7 billion across Canada this year, including $670 million in BC, to further enhance Canadians' access to what are already among the most advanced broadband and wireless networks anywhere in the world. TELUS' wireless network already reaches about 99 per cent of B.C.'s population and will be expanded by 76 cell sites this year. The company's wireline network makes broadband internet access available to more than 95 per cent of B.C. households, and the industry-leading Optik TV available to over 1 million households across the province.
Importantly, since 2000 TELUS' team members, retirees and Vancouver and Victoria Community Boards have contributed nearly $92 million and 2.1 million volunteer hours to more than 1,000 charitable and community organizations in the province. TELUS was recently recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as the 2010 Most Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation globally, the first time a Canadian company has ever received this international honour.
TELUS has 15,000 team members and retirees in the province, and is Metro Vancouver's largest private sector employer. Approximately 1,000 TELUS team members will work in the company's new national headquarters once it is complete.
TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $9.8 billion of annual revenue and 12.3 million customer connections including 7 million wireless subscribers, 3.7 million wireline network access lines and 1.2 million Internet subscribers and more than 300,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees will, by year-end 2011, have contributed $245 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.1 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Nine TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead TELUS' local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.
For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.
Established in 1992 and with over $5 billion of projects completed or under development, Westbank is active across Canada in a diversity of product types from luxury condominiums, rental apartment office, commercial, retail, hotel, non-market housing and industrial. Westbank's primary focus is on large mixed use projects involving highly complex entitlement processes. Westbank is best known for being the leading luxury residential developer in Canada, along with being the owner/developer of the finest hotels in Canada. Some of its best known projects include Shangri-la Vancouver, Shangri-la Toronto, Fairmont Pacific Rim and the Woodward's Redevelopment project.
About Henriquez Partners Architects:
Founded in 1969, Henriquez Partners Architects has led and completed a number of large-scale projects including the $330M Woodward's Redevelopment and the landmark LEED Gold BC Cancer Research Centre. With a reputation for successfully understanding and marrying the needs of both the client and the community, the Henriquez Partner philosophy is that no project is too small if it contributes to society in a meaningful way. Current work includes a new design for the Dunbar Community Centre and the York Theatre heritage revitalization project. Henriquez Partners has a demonstrated ability to organize and manage projects from design through to construction and the technical expertise to build buildings that stand the test of time.
TELUS Media Relations