CALGARY, AB -- (Marketwired) -- 10/30/13 -- Brookfield Office Properties Inc. (NYSE: BPO) (TSX: BPO) today broke ground on the first phase of the Brookfield Place Calgary office development project. The 1.4-million-square-foot first phase, or east tower, at 56 storeys or 247 metres in height, will be the tallest structure in western Canada upon its completion. Cenovus Energy is anchoring the east tower with a 1-million-square-foot commitment.
Brookfield Place Calgary, located at the former site of the Calgary Herald building, is a full-block development site in the heart of downtown, bounded by 1st and 2nd Streets SW and 6th and 7th Avenues SW. Completion of the east tower is expected in the latter half of 2017. It is expected that Cenovus will occupy its one million square feet by Q1 2018.
"Several years ago we identified this block as the best-located parcel of underdeveloped land in the city, and today we begin construction on what will be the tallest structure in Western Canada," said Jan Sucharda, president and chief executive officer of Brookfield Office Properties' Canadian Commercial Operations. "Getting to this day, where the dream becomes reality, was only possible thanks to the hard work and support of so many, including His Worship Mayor Naheed Nenshi, our partners at Cenovus, and my colleagues at Brookfield."
Brookfield also announced that the pavilion space adjacent to the east tower will be named 'The James K. Gray Gallery' after the influential and revered member of Western Canada's oil and natural gas exploration business. In addition to his more than 50-year business career, Mr. Gray is a noted local philanthropist and a member of both the Calgary and Canadian Business Halls of Fame and an Officer of the Order of Canada.
In addition to the east tower, development plans call for an additional office tower totaling approximately one million square feet, a 60-foot-high transparent glass pavilion, restaurants, retail shops and amenities at street level, and underground parking accommodating 1,100 parking stalls. A half-acre lit public plaza will traverse the site and will feature restaurants and cafés, public art displays, cultural activities and programmed activity provided by Brookfield's award-winning Arts & Events program.
Among Brookfield's partners on the development project are architects Fender Katsalidis Arney (FKA) and Dialog, and construction manager EllisDon. The entire Brookfield Place Calgary project is expected to create 1,300 construction jobs and 7.5 million construction man-hours in Calgary.
The development will be constructed to a high standard of sustainability and is expected to achieve the LEED Gold standard for Core & Shell development. Commuters will have direct access to the Plus-15 skywalk system and the Calgary LRT on 7th Ave. The property will house an innovative bicycle parking facility accessible by dedicated bike ramps separate from vehicular traffic and electric car plug-in recharge stations.
Over the past several years, Brookfield has embarked on a branding campaign to create 'Brookfield Places' around the globe to represent the highest quality in urban real estate. Brookfield has branded similar projects in other cities of the world as 'Brookfield Place,' including Toronto, New York City and Perth, as those properties also represent best-in-class districts for office space, dining, retail and the arts.
Brookfield is among Calgary's largest office landlords with a portfolio of 8 properties totaling 6.8 million square feet. Landmark assets include the Bankers Hall and Suncor Energy Centre complexes. Brookfield's Calgary portfolio is 99.7% leased with an average lease term of 11.2 years.
About Brookfield Office Properties
Brookfield Office Properties owns, develops and manages premier office properties in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Its portfolio is comprised of interests in 114 properties totaling 85 million square feet in the downtown cores of New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, London, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, making it the global leader in the ownership and management of office assets. Landmark properties include Brookfield Places in New York City, Toronto and Perth, Bank of America Plaza in Los Angeles, Bankers Hall in Calgary, and Darling Park in Sydney. The company's common shares trade on the NYSE and TSX under the symbol BPO. For more information, visit www.brookfieldofficeproperties.com.
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