Connecting our past. Inspiring our future.

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Connecting our past. Inspiring our future.

ENBRIDGE CENTRE OPENS IN DOWNTOWN EDMONTON.

If you only look at Enbridge Centre as an office tower, you’re missing the point.

Placemaking is becoming the new norm in Edmonton.

Unbeknownst to many, this isn’t a race to the top to claim the title for the tallest building; it’s a race to the bottom – where the people are – to create the most engaging spaces.

This is what makes Enbridge Centre great.

The tower, which officially opened today, takes advantage of its unique location within the downtown core by providing commercial retail that opens onto three city streets, echoing the small scale frontages of the historic Kelly Ramsey Building it replaced.

It offers engaging street frontage with opportunities for street level cafés and restaurants, and an upgraded public realm that supports the vision of a sustainable, walkable downtown; encouraging the use of the surrounding streets by the public and the building occupants.

“The essence of the development is truly in the first four stories,” says architect Gerry Doering. “In the past, some developments focus on engaging with the iconic form of the tower, but little attention to the pedestrian experience. Enbridge Centre is designed to increase human activity and promote interaction at ground level.”

The four-storey podium tactfully integrates old with new, being careful not to force contemporary design into an established environment.

“Our excitement to reach for the future shouldn’t completely turn our backs on the past,” said developer John Day during today’s opening ceremony. “A commitment to preserving beauty is always important. We’ve been able to honor the past and build something special.”

That sentiment seems to be shared. As of today, the building is 90.6% leased – an envious number when Edmonton’s current office vacancy rate sits at 12.9%.

In an increasingly competitive market, highly efficient space and energy features have become status quo. Tenants are now looking for amenity – wellness being one of the biggest drivers.

“In addition to an onsite fitness club, Enbridge Centre promotes wellness in many forms,” explains Doering. “For example, we want people to engage with the space, not transition through it; so a cognizant decision was made to have a lobby stair instead of a traditional escalator.”

Likewise, specific attention given to the public realm has created a space that entices people to pack a brown bag lunch and eat outside. And for those working inside, each tenant space has floor to ceiling glazing, offering beautiful views and allowing daylight to permeate deep into the space.

As experienced today, the central lobby has already proven itself as the heart of Enbridge Centre, bustling with excitement. Since the building’s soft opening in August, it’s already hosted art shows and private events, piquing the interests of passerbys.

If it’s true that placemaking is becoming the new norm in Edmonton, there’s no question Enbridge Centre has raised the bar. In a young city in the midst of a world-class transformation, it’s projects such these that inspire and ignite its downtown’s future.

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