Metro Vancouver is shelling out $205 million for a new office tower to serve as its head office.
The regional district has purchased Burnaby’s Metrotower III, part of the recent development spree in Burnaby’s Metrotown area.
The 29-storey tower is certified LEED platinum, and opened in 2014.
The district says it will offset the cost of the new building by selling its current Kingsway headquarters, which is valued at about $82 million, and by leasing 12 floors of the new tower.
Despite that, Metro Vancouver is projecting the move will cost the average household an extra $5-6 per year over a 13 year period.
Metro Vancouver chair Greg Moore says the choice was made after a long-term review of Metro’s infrastructure.
“The building’s 30 years old, it’s going to need some major upgrades. It was just an older building that was going to have to put a lot of money in it to keep it going.”
He says while the price tag on the new building looks expensive, when they crunched the numbers, it came up as the best option.
“When we looked at the evaluation between keeping this building that we’re currently in for the next 20 years or comparing it to a new building that is more energy efficient, it’s about a million dollars a year less to operate that building – when you look at that longer term ROI, it makes financial and environmental sense to move.”
Moore says it will take about a year of modifications and improvements before the district moves into the new offices.