Demolition of the downtown Art Central building will begin this weekend, paving the way for a January start to construction of the $440-million Telus Sky tower.
The 58-storey project at the corner of Centre Street and 7th Avenue S.W., is scheduled for completion by fall 2017. It’s to include 750,000 square feet of mixed-use development. About 450,000 square feet will be dedicated to office space, one-third of that occupied by Telus. Twenty-nine floors will feature 326 residential rental apartments.
“We’re very excited about the impact that we’re going to have on the community and the lasting impact we’ll have on Calgary,” said Andrea Goertz, senior vice-president of strategic initiatives and chief communications and sustainability officer at Telus.
“On the office side, we’re very encouraged by the level of interest that we’ve seen. We’re actually right now in the midst of negotiations with two potential tenants. From what we’ve seen and from our experience in other locations, including Vancouver, there’s always a market for space that overachieves, that puts a new, innovative design out there in the market.”
Telus has partnered with developer Westbank and real estate investment trust Allied Properties on the project.
Goertz said Telus will open a presentation centre Dec. 7 at the downtown office of Cushman & Wakefield, which has been enlisted to lease the remaining 300,000 square feet of office space.
The tower will also feature a 5,500-square-foot public gallery space as well as public art on the facade of the building itself.
telus “Telus Sky will be one of the most attractive urban sites to live and work in the City of Calgary,” said Ian Gillespie, founder and president of Westbank.
The demolition of Art Central officially brings an end to the dream of that concept which got crushed by the recession in 2008 and never managed to climb back.
When it opened in 2004, the building was seen as a place where local artists could show and sell their work in small galleries, while others could work in small studios in the basement of the three-storey building built in 1928.
Art Central was part of a package that included the Alberta Hotel and Fashion Central buildings sold by Calgary-based Encorp to Allied Properties Real Estate Investment Trust in 2011.