Parker: Office tower planned for former Sally Ann site
One of Calgary’s busiest downtown intersections is about to undergo a transformation that will make a bold statement through great design and space availability.
The former Salvation Army building at 5th Avenue and 1st Street S.E. is to make way for a gleaming 12-storey office tower that will tie in nicely to the adjacent 1914 red brick North-West Travellers Building and Firehall No. 1 at 6th Avenue.
Les Mabbott, an Edmonton developer with a 30-year track record of successful projects in that city as president, CEO and principal owner of LPI Corp., will build the project.
A former deputy minister and senior negotiator on government agreements between Alberta and Ottawa under former premiers Peter Lougheed and Don Getty, Mabbott has become an accomplished domestic and international developer in commercial, residential and industrial real estate. He has expanded operations into the Bahamas and California with projects that include a 200,000-square-foot twin-tower complex in San Diego.
His biggest Edmonton developments include the 600,000-square-foot Commerce Place, a $300- million downtown project in strategic partnership with Olympia & York, and Sterling Place, a 12-storey office tower in the heart of the government district.
Mabbott said he is excited about his first Calgary office project that’s unique opportunity to offer top-quality space for companies with smaller needs.
Bow Professional Centre will be located across from the park space where the elegantly giant Family of Man statues resides. It’s a short walk to LRT stations and connected by the Plus-15 system to the Telus Building and Delta Bow Valley Hotel and its impressive neighbour, the Bow tower, on the west side.
Kasian Architects has designed the roughly 60,000-square-foot tower on a setback pedestal to improve the pedestrian realm, giving prominence and relief to the building entries and generally improving both pedestrian and vehicular safety on the bustling corner. It’s expected the main floor will attract a quality restaurant to make use of a patio area under the walkway to the Bow tower. The cut back will also provide a large outdoor patio onto 5th Avenue.
A gathering space for tenants and visitors — including a rooftop garden, landscaped with a pergola and bench seating — is also being considered.
The transparent, full-glass curtain wall surrounds three sides while the transition space to the North-West Travellers has a strong ground-to-top brick facade, in consideration of the City of Calgary heritage building.
Leasing is in the exclusive hands of the Coldwell Banker Commercial team of Lori King and Gary McKelvie who report there is already keen pre-leasing interest in the tower even before it has gone to market.