By Jason Markusoff, Calgary Herald December 1, 2012 7:37 AM
Calgary's skyline will again be redefined in a few years, with a new downtown skyscraper designed to stand even taller than the Bow.
Brookfield Properties submitted this week plans for a 56-storey, 247-metre tower to rise on the site of the former Herald building, along with a 178-metre similarly styled tower on the same block.
A stylized box whose edges curve and taper upward to its crown, it won't outshoot the Norman Foster-designed Bow for iconic architecture. But it will, by 11 metres, lay to rest the Encana/Cenovus highrise's bragging rights as tallest building in Western Canada.
The project, variously called "225 Sixth" and "Brookfield Place" in the development permit, replaces Brookfield's proposal for a simpler square tower at 1st Street and 7th Avenue S.W.
After the developer bought the parkade on the same block, it decided to do something more striking, said Jan Sucharda.
"This site is literally the centre of the downtown, so I think to be the tallest building in the city makes sense," said Sucharda, Brookfield's president for Canadian commercial operations.
The plan for 2.8 million square feet of new office space is a confident bet for the company that recently learned it is losing its anchor tenant at Fifth Avenue Place - Imperial Oil, headed for a southeast office park by 2016. Brookfield has just begun marketing the Imperial offices, but is hopeful it can find an occupant for the new project and open one or both towers by 2017.