B.C. companies win major Telus Garden office tower contracts

B.C. companies have been awarded all contracts to date on the office tower segment of the $750-million Telus Garden project in downtown Vancouver, where excavation work is now underway.

Telus said Thursday that six Lower Mainland companies have been awarded tenders for approximately two-thirds of the work required to build the 24-storey tower, one of three office towers in the downtown core where the construction process is underway.

Telus estimates that more than 500 construction jobs will be created during construction of Telus Garden. The office building is scheduled for final occupancy in June 2014.

The one-million-square-foot redevelopment of the entire city block bounded by Robson, Georgia, Seymour and Richards streets will incorporate the office tower, a 53-storey residential tower, and retail space.

Site preparation for the project’s residential tower, where 428 condos sold out in about a week in March, is set to begin later this month, with final occupancy planned for May 2015.

“Excavation [on the office tower] should be completed by mid-August, and then construction will begin,” said Andrea Goertz, Telus’s senior vice-president, strategic initiatives. “We should see the new building up at street level by the end of 2012.”

Goertz said that although contracts are tendered after a competitive bid process, Telus prefers to work with local companies when possible as it supports Vancouver’s economy and improves on-site coordination during construction.

The successful bidders to date include Lisi Mechanical, Canem Systems, Thyssen-Krupp Elevators, Ocean Concrete, LMS Reinforcing Steel Group and Star Masonry Ltd.

Joe Buccella of Lisi Mechanical said in a statement that his firm will employ 50 to 60 people directly and create numerous indirect jobs with suppliers.

“It’s a great boost to the local economy when a project of this magnitude can be built using predominantly local companies,” Buccella said.

The remaining tenders for construction of the office tower, including structural steel, metal fabrication, and landscaping, will be put out for competitive bid this summer, Telus said. Tenders for the residential tower are now in progress.

The other new office buildings in the construction process are the B.C. Investment Management Corp.’s 400,000-square-foot, 25-storey project at 745 Thurlow St., and Oxford Properties’ 25-storey tower at 1021 West Hastings, next to the Marine Building, which promises 270,000 square feet of office space to be completed in the summer of 2014.

The combined office space in the three towers is nearly 1.2 million square feet.

BCIMC spokesman Gwen-Ann Chittenden said their tower at 745 Thurlow, which is now undergoing site preparation, is scheduled for construction to begin in March 2013. “We’re targeting completion in mid-2015.”

Claire McIntyre, director of marketing and communications for Oxford Properties, said construction has now begun at 1021 West Hastings and that the building has been named MNP Tower, in recognition of the accounting firm MNP, which has agreed to lease 72,000 square feet on nine floors.

Another major development, also part of a boom in new office construction, includes a planned $200-million, 30-storey office tower developed by European investment bank Credit Suisse, to be called the Exchange at Howe and Pender streets.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/commercial-real-estate/companies+major+Telus+Garden+office+tower+contracts/6747589/story.html#ixzz26rUAYNyt

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