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TELUS Garden ready for tenants in 2015
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One of Metro Vancouver’s biggest employers will soon embark on what is expected to be the region’s largest office move of 2015.

Telecommunications giant Telus Corp. (TSX:T) plans to move more than 1,000 of its 6,600 Metro Vancouver employees into its $750 million TELUS Garden headquarters by the end of June, chief communications and sustainability officer Andrea Goertz told Business in Vancouver. About 1,200 of those employees already work downtown at 555 Robson Street, although some who will move into the new complex bounded by West Georgia, Richards, Seymour and Robson streets will also come from the iconic boot-shaped Brian Canfield Centre in Burnaby.

Telus’ finance, investor relations, communications, treasury, community investment and health and wellness departments will all be based at Telus Garden; engineering and technical jobs will continue to be based out of the larger Brian Canfield Centre.

Most of Telus’ workforce in the region is based in Burnaby, with about 4,700 of its employees located at the Brian Canfield Centre, a call centre across the street and offices on Canada Way off Highway 1.

Telus’ Metro Vancouver workforce dipped by about 200 people compared with a year ago, but Goertz said the reduction was not because of job cuts but rather because of an increase in its mobile workforce, some of whom she said are likely now working from home outside Metro Vancouver.

Goertz said Telus hopes to have 70% of its national employees working on a mobile basis by 2016; that would be up from approximately 57% now.

All Telus employees were offered a 1% discount to buy any of the 428 homes in TELUS Garden’s 53-storey residential tower, which is slated for completion next year and is being developed by both Telus and Westbank.

More than 150 employees took Telus up on its offer, most of whom Goertz said were likely employees who will be working in the 500,000-square-foot office tower.

The telecommunications giant will lease 212,000 square feet on nine of the tower’s floors, including the top two.

Seattle-based e-commerce firm Amazon.com will be the next biggest tenant in the building with 156,000 square feet on floors nine through 16.

Law firm Bull Housser Tupper & Tupper LLP is moving about 250 staff to 57,500 square feet on floors 18,19, and 20.

Then there is the retail space.

The Glowbal Collection closed its landmark Glowbal Grill restaurant in Yaletown at the end of December and is readying to open three separate eateries at TELUS Garden.

The first is expected to be a casual restaurant, named Nosh, in May. The chain’s owner Emad Yacoub told BIV last week that he plans to open a 15,000-square-foot flagship restaurant named Glowbal in August in the office tower. That facility will have 300 indoor seats and 150 seats on an outdoor patio.

Yacoub’s final establishment will be a cocktail bar named Alley Bar, which will be in the residential tower and Yacoub expects to open sometime in 2016.

Read the full article at Business in Vancouver.