Metro Vancouver HQ move will push up property taxes

Each home will pay at least $5 more starting in 2018 for regional district's purchase of $205 million office tower

Metrotower III will be the new headquarters for Metro Vancouver employees. The regional district is paying $205 million for the 29-storey tower.




Metro Vancouver has decided to buy a new 29-storey office tower in Metrotown for $205 million to serve as its new headquarters.

The regional district will sell the two office towers that house its existing office complex just northwest of Metrotown. Those buildings are assessed at $82.5 million and are around 30 years old.

At 414,000 square feet, the new Metrotower III building is bigger than Metro needs to house its 800 employees, so the regional district will occupy 13 floors and lease out the rest.

The move is expected to cost the average household an extra $5 to $6 more on their regional property taxes each year starting in 2018. It won’t affect 2016 taxes.

Board chair Greg Moore said Ivanhoe Cambridge’s new building was the “most economically and environmentally responsible” choice after an extensive evaluation of options.

Metro faced rising costs for its current location, including the need for costly renovations for other tenants.

The move will result in a net decrease in operating costs of about $1 million a year, largely due to the LEED Platinum building’s green features – it consumes 26 per cent less energy.

It also uses 40 per cent less water, due to a collection system that channels rainwater to toilets and landscaping.

Metrotower III is at SkyTrain’s Metrotown station, equidistant between Surrey and downtown Vancouver.

Metrotower III will be the new headquarters for Metro Vancouver employees. The regional district is paying $205 million for the 29-storey tower.