Developer delays construction on south block of EnCana project - Metro US

Developer delays construction on south block of EnCana project

Citing a cooling economy, the developer of EnCana’s new headquarters, the Bow, will stall construction on a portion of the massive project.

While plans to build the 58-storey main tower of the Bow, which will be the largest office tower in Western Canada, are still on track, project owner H&R REIT has decided to put the south block on hold until the market rebounds.

The news came to light in an annual information form and said the satellite building, which is slated to be about eight storeys and house retail and cultural space, has been indefinitely put on hold.

“The south block is not being capped or cancelled — H & R is deferring the south block as a result of the current economic climate,” Larry Froom, the company’s chief financial officer, said yesterday.

“H&R is making use of the phasing ability to focus on the north tower construction.”

The ambitious mega-project, which is estimated to ring in at $1.4 billion, was initiated at the height of Calgary’s economic boom by energy giant EnCana in hopes of putting all the company’s 3,500 employees under one roof by 2011.

The developer has struggled to come up with financing due to the credit crunch before securing funding just before Christmas.

Under terms of the project’s development permit, construction must begin on the south block no more than one year after occupancy of the main tower.

EnCana spokesman Alan Boras said despite the setback, he believes the key part of the project won’t be delayed and will soon become a major addition to Calgary’s skyline.

“In any circumstance when you’re in economic times that are changing it affects certain projects that sometimes need to be adjusted,” he said.

“EnCana remains committed to seeing the Bow come to fruition.”

H&R REIT will provide further details on financing for the project later this month, Froom said.

He added progress on the main tower is on schedule.

The Bow facts
• At 58 storeys, or around 240 metres, the Bow will be the tallest office tower in Western Canada and the tallest outside of Toronto.

• The facility will have an estimated 158,000 square metres of office space.

• A six-level underground parkade will provide 1,400 parking spaces.

• Full occupancy is expected by late 2011 or early 2012.

– Metro Calgary

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