News / Edmonton

Edmonton staff's move to downtown tower comes with $16.4M price tag

The Katz Group, which owns the building and will lease space to the city, will cover $9.5 million of the city’s moving costs.

The City of Edmonton is hoping to move into the new office tower in late 2016.

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The City of Edmonton is hoping to move into the new office tower in late 2016.

The bill to move Edmonton’s downtown staff to a central building will be $16.4 million, but the Katz Group will cover more than half of it. 

Starting next November, the city will begin transplanting almost all downtown personnel from their current offices in buildings across the core to the City of Edmonton tower, at 103 Street and 104th Avenue. 

City offices will occupy 385,000 square feet of the new building.

But the Katz Group, which owns the building and will lease space to the city, will cover $9.5 million of the city’s moving costs through an inducement.

Taxpayers will pay the rest — $6.9 million.

Mayor Don Iveson said Tuesday council knew there would be moving costs when it approved the lease to build a new tower for city staff.

“Wherever we moved there were going to be costs and very often your landlord will help you with those costs,” he said.

Iveson said the new building will save space and money over the long term, but it does come with upfront costs.  

“We expect our employees to work together in more of an open environment and that way they will actually take less square footage,” he said. “Unfortunately, you have to get new furniture that fits that mould and ensures our staff can be productive.”

Coun. Mike Nickel voted against the original deal, preferring to have the city build its own tower rather than leasing space.

He said he’s glad the Katz Group is sharing some of the costs.

“Given what we are paying for that tower, I would hope there would be some inducements for us.”

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