The Burnaby office complex that previously housed the headquarters office of Metro Vancouver Regional District is set for a complete transformation into highly-sought, AAA-class offices.
Extensive renovations will be made to the 1980s-built “Golden Towers” at 4330 Kingsway and 5945 Kathleen Avenue — the 19-storey and 10-storey office towers at the southeast corner of the intersection of Wilson Avenue and Kingsway, located within close walking distance from SkyTrain’s Patterson and Metrotown stations.
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Toronto-based Slate Asset Management (SLAM) announced today it has launched Capital Point, the new name of the strata office project, which received its approvals from the municipal government last year.
There will be over 220,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space, with an expansive double height lobby, concierge services, and a private outdoor courtyard on the podium rooftop.
The second level will contain 25,000 sq. ft. of common amenity spaces, such as bookable boardrooms, client lounge, conference rooms, and a presentation auditorium with a capacity for 80 people. A fitness room and cycling end-of-trip facilities with 137 bike parking spaces will also be made available.
The company states the design takes into full account the health safety, comfort, and socializing needs of the post-pandemic workplace environment.
“Physical offices will remain critical in ensuring organizational success in the post-pandemic world because office space is an important part of company’s corporate culture,” said Brandon Graham Donnelly, managing director at SLAM, in a statement.
“A collaborative office space can foster a sense of inclusion and inspire innovation. When we look ahead to our post-pandemic world, we believe adaptable, flexible, high-quality office space will be in high demand.”
Additionally, the 1980s-built complex will see a complete recladding that abandons the existing exterior use of gold-coloured tinted reflective glass. This will be replaced with clear glazing, a curtain wall, and aluminum metal panel rainscreen.
“The architectural design of the project was led by the desire to improve upon the existing relationship between these two neighbouring towers and to upgrade the envelope to meet current energy performance standards,” reads the design rationale by architectural firm DIALOG.
“The desire to create a classic, timeless, minimal, and sophisticated design and the interior connection that was formed between the towers established a clear vision for the exterior of the building. Unifying the buildings through a singular dominant move became the overarching guiding principal for both the project’s interior design and exterior design.”
Despite the economic and workplace impacts of COVID-19, downtown Vancouver and Metro Vancouver’s overall office vacancy rates are the lowest amongst North America’s major urban centres.
As of the fourth quarter of 2020, the downtown Vancouver office vacancy rate was 5.8%, while the regional office vacancy rate was 6.2%. These are considered low vacancy rates; a “balanced” office vacancy rate is considered to be 8% and under.
“As the economy is expected to rebound in 2021 with the vaccine rollout completed by the fall, the office market is expected to recover,” continued Donnelly.
Construction on the drastic renovations is set to begin in the second half of 2021 for a completion in Spring 2023.
For over three decades, Metro Vancouver Regional District was the primary tenant of this office complex, until 2017 when it relocated its headquarters to the newly-built Metrotower III, next to Metrotown Station.
The regional government acquired the 29-storey LEED Platinum office tower from Ivanhoe Cambridge for $205 million. This does not include the $35 million to outfit the new workspace, with the regional district occupying about half of the tower and leasing the remaining levels for revenue.
In comparison, the cost of renovating the Golden Towers for the regional district’s continued use was estimated at $28 million.
In November 2018, the regional government sold Golden Towers in a deal worth $86 million, which went towards offsetting the costs of acquiring Metrotower III.