Posted Jun 4, 2010, 2:34 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
From CBC website:
New office tower for downtown Regina
Last Updated: Thursday, June 3, 2010 | 5:10 PM CST CBCNews
Harvard Buildings Inc. is proposing a new 20-story office tower for Regina's downtown and provided this image of what the building may look like. A new 20-story office tower is being proposed for downtown Regina, a local developer announced Thursday.
If it gets a green light from city officials, construction could begin as soon as summer.
"It's time we put a crane in the air," Rosanne Hill Blaisdell, the managing director of Harvard Buildings Inc., said in a news release.
Hill Blaisdell noted that the proposed building would be the first office tower built in the city since 1992.
A major tenant has already been secured, according to the release.
The Mosaic Company, a producer of potash, has agreed to take the top floors of the building and has the right to its signage.
"This is an exciting opportunity for Mosaic and our province," Norm Beug, a senior vice president for the company, said.
The building would be located at the corner of 12th Avenue and Hamilton Street, squarely in the heart of Regina's downtown.
"Harvard is currently working through the urban design review process with the city's administration," the release noted.
More details about the project were expected at a formal news conference, set for later in the summer.
...and The Leader Post:
REGINA — A new addition to Regina's skyline is being proposed.
Regina-based Harvard Developments announced Thursday that an application has been submitted to the City of Regina proposing a new office tower — 18 to 20 storeys tall — for the northwest corner of 12th Avenue and Hamilton Street.
"It's a project we've been working on for a while," Rosanne Hill Blaisdell, managing director for Harvard Buildings, said Thursday. "We're certainly in a market that has a very low vacancy rate. We've had a lot of companies inquiring about space and we really just don't have any. There hasn't been an office building built in Regina in almost 20 years. We're looking at the opportunity of doing that now."
The building would be the first major 'A' class office tower to be built in Regina since 1992, according to Harvard. Harvard is the development manager and is partnering with Greystone Managed Investments, which is acting on behalf of its institutional pension fund investors.
Harvard is currently working through the urban design review process with the city's staff and plans to unveil more details this summer.
"We certainly hope to be under construction this summer yet," Hill Blaisdell said, noting most of the existing buildings on the site are empty and one is occupied by a tenant that is moving in a month. "We're excited to be part of the continuing growth."
The lead tenant in the proposed new tower would be The Mosaic Company, the world's largest producer and marketer of concentrated potash and phosphate. Mosaic has mine operations in Saskatchewan at Belle Plaine, Esterhazy and Colonsay and offices in a smaller existing building in Regina. Mosaic would occupy the upper floors of the new building and would have the rights to the building's top signage.
"Part of our growth plan in Saskatchewan is to grow our business unit," Norm Beug, Mosaic's vice president of potash operations, said Thursday. "With that comes the need to be able to grow some of our support roles. Vacancy rates are still low in the city. We see a need ourselves for some more space. We're in a smaller, older facility. We need a new permanent home — and this one fits the bill for us."
"It's absolutely wonderful," Mayor Pat Fiacco said on Thursday about the proposed project. "It fits in perfectly with the downtown neighbourhood plan."
Fiacco pointed out that three other towers — a 26-storey hotel and condo complex at Albert Street and Victoria Avenue, a smaller office tower for Albert Street and 11th Avenue and a residential tower in the 2000-block of Rose Street — all are in the works.
"In the last 20 years, at least, I don't think we've ever seen this type of major development all at once," he said. "All of this is private-sector investment, which is exciting."
Fiacco said Harvard and the city's staff are working to ensure the built form of the tower fits in with the downtown neighbourhood plan. He noted that having such an example will make it easier for developers to understand the new rules.
"Harvard has been working on this for a couple of years now," Fiacco said. "This type of development doesn't happen overnight. It's all coming together. It speaks to confidence in Regina's economy. This is going to create jobs and contribute to this neighbourhood."
John Hopkins of the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce said that, with low vacancy rates, "something had to happen" — either a tower had to be built or offices would have to leave the downtown.
"I think it's excellent news for the downtown and excellent news for the community," Hopkins said. "It shows that we're continuing to grow. It builds upon the downtown plan. This is a good news story for everyone."
Leon Brin of Regina Downtown said that organization is excited about the proposed project.
"I think anybody who has spent any time in downtown Regina has heard the speculation about that particular property and that particular corner," he said. "To actually see something in black and white that speaks to development, that speaks to a change in appearance of that part of the city, is a really good thing.
"I'm just trying to think of the last time that we actually faced the prospect of more than one construction crane in downtown Regina," he continued. "I know for a lot of people that they don't necessarily measure progress in terms of the amount of construction activity going on — but the reality is, that's what it speaks to."
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