The City of Vancouver has approved a development permit for Credit Suisse to construct what will be one of Canada’s tallest sustainable office towers. The $200-million venture, which will sit at the corner of Howe and Pender street in downtown, is the global financial giant’s first real estate investment in British Columbia and first ‘ground up’ real estate development in Canada.
“We believe in Vancouver’s economy and its future,” says Credit Suisse’s Herbert Meier, Director of Real Estate Asset Management. “We believe in supporting the City of Vancouver’s vision to become the world’s ‘greenest’ city by 2020.”
The project, The Exchange, will target LEED Platinum, the highest designation from the Canada Green Building Council. The building will create half the energy load of traditional office buildings that are comparable in size, essentially lowering operating costs for tenants. In another first, the neighboring Old Stock Exchange building (circa 1929) will be renovated and restored as part of the development. It will be Canada’s first LEED Platinum heritage conversion.
Credit Suisse’s 260-building global real estate portfolio has been greenhouse gas-neutral since 2010.
The Exchange’s Vancouver investor, SwissReal Group, says Credit Suisse would only consider the partnership if the project targeted the highest environmental standards. “It is rare to get a chance to build a cutting-edge commercial development from scratch, let alone do it with a world leader,” says Franz Gehriger, CEO of SwissReal Group.
For the iconic design, Credit Suisse is relying on Swiss expertise in internationally-renowned architect Harry Gugger, whose most notable work includes the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing and Tate Modern Gallery in London.
Credit Suisse is the seventh largest real estate investor in the world, with total real estate assets of CAD 42.35-billion. This project will create 400 local jobs during construction and 1,700 permanent job spaces. It will be the tallest building in Credit Suisse’s portfolio. Construction begins in October with completion targeted for 2017.
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