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

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 MayorGregor 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.

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