For the first time in a long time, the talk in the Ice District is about something other than the arena. The first of the structures, generated as part of the larger project is nearing completion. Edmonton Tower and it’s 27-storeys will be finished in the coming weeks, and by November City of Edmonton staff will begin moving in.
It will be shared by the city as the main tenant, with 2,300 employees with the private sector occupying other floors. “Look at this building, look at the architecture, look at it’s centre ice,” said Glen Scott, the senior VP for real estate for the Katz Group. “It’s connected to everything that Edmontonians want to have in the Ice District. We’re confident it’ll be 100-percent leased.”
“You have the City of Edmonton as the main tenant and they’re roughly 65-percent of the building and we have another ten percent that has been leased in the office tower, and then we have all the retail as well. Depending on how you do your math on the building, we’re pushing close to 80-percent,” he told reporters at the “topping off” event where a bucket of cement was symbolically poured on the roof top.
The building features large floor plates where several city departments can interact. It’s also got an iconic curved exterior, achieved by the steel frame that extends the floor by a couple of inches each storey. “There’s a flight to quality,” said RAM Development’s Darren Dirstling. “We’ve been very successful here, and also in Stantec Tower. We’ve noticed a number of tenants wanting a better quality building so it’s been very positive.”
Located at the corner of 104 ave and 101 st, the main level will be set up as one stop shopping for civic services. Mayor Don Iveson said the goal is to “serve citizens and business more effectively with things like permitting in our new integrated front counter here. There’s going to be a massive increase in productivity and level of service for our citizens. That’s what this building represents.”
Iveson wants to see the customer experience mimic what you’d see in private business.
“Quick service, integrated service, a seamless experience for people. It’s what people come to expect from the private sector from a customer point of view and I aspire to the City of Edmonton delivering much better customer service than we’ve been able to in the past.”
The building is designed to be connected with in the Ice District, through the pedway system, linking with transit stops, MacEwan University LRT station and multiple parking facilities which are needed for Rogers Place.
The city’s employees currently are located in the CN Tower and HSBC Place, as well as other buildings in and around City Hall.