Telus and the City of Victoria have announced plans for the telecom provider to build a new regional headquarters and innovation hub in the capital city of British Columbia.
The Telus Ocean project will be built at the ‘Apex’ site, a city-owned parcel of land located at 749-767 Douglas Street and Humboldt in downtown Victoria. The city launched a public competitive procurement process in 2017 for the site and the Telus Ocean project was selected, with negotiations taking place from 2018 to 2019.
Both Telus and the City of Victoria signed a deal on March 26, 2020, which sees Telus purchasing the ‘Apex’ site for $8.1 million, while both parties will share environmental and geotechnical costs to remediate the site. While Victoria will pay $2.37 million in costs, Telus will assume environmental liability and responsibility for the site.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said in a statement, “This significant investment by TELUS is a next generation project that helps bring the City’s draft recovery, reinvention and resilience plan, Victoria 3.0 to life. TELUS Ocean will help us to build a stronger, more resilient economy. It is another example of the confidence leading companies are showing in moving to Victoria or expanding their operations here.”
The new Telus regional headquarters will be able to accommodate roughly 250 employees, while an innovation hub will “showcase advanced communications and information technology.” Telus will work with Aryze Developments to build an “architecturally-advanced and environmentally-sustainable building design”, in a project similar to other buildings such as the Telus Garden in Vancouver.
“The TELUS team is tremendously proud of our longstanding history in British Columbia and we are thrilled to announce the development of TELUS Ocean, which will stand as a lasting symbol of our passionate commitment to the Victoria community, our customers and our team members. Exemplifying leading-edge design, our development will contribute significantly to Victoria’s economic strength, culture and social vitality,” said Telus President and CEO Darren Entwistle in a statement.
Telus will be applying for rezoning of the site within 18 months of initiating the agreement, with the sale of the site subject to the latter.
The Telus Ocean project will bring “advanced communications technologies and environmental innovation in a way never seen before in Victoria,” added Entwistle.