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Deloitte leases Vancouver co-working building from Spaces

Global professional services firm Deloitte has signed a deal to lease all of Spaces’ new Vancouve...

IMAGE: Spaces' new facility in the Tom Lee Building in Vancouver. (Rendering courtesy Spaces)

Spaces’ new facility in the Tom Lee Building in Vancouver. (Rendering courtesy Spaces)

Global professional services firm Deloitte has signed a deal to lease all of Spaces’ new Vancouver Granville Street location, a building initially intended entirely for co-working.

Spaces, the co-working subsidiary of International Workplace Group (IWG), said Wednesday Deloitte Canada would become the sole tenant of the old Tom Lee Building at 728 Granville that’s currently being converted into a seven-floor office space.

Deloitte will take over the building on Sept. 1 temporarily as it awaits the completion of its own new dedicated Vancouver office at a tower being built at 400 West Georgia.

The new Spaces Granville location includes six floors plus a functional basement for a total of 78,000 square feet, said Wayne Berger, CEO of IWG Canada and Latin America.

Spaces and its co-working counterpart WeWork have been aggressively scooping up large tracts of office space in Vancouver, which is facing a historically low downtown vacancy rate of three per cent.

Spaces to have four Vancouver locations

In addition to the new Granville location, Spaces also has a six-floor location open in Gastown which can accommodate up to 500 members, and a 40,000-square-foot site at 565 Great Northern Way set to open early this year.

It has also announced a fourth location that will occupy 120,000 square feet at 400 West Georgia — eventually turning Deloitte and Spaces into neighbours at the 367,000-square-foot tower being developed by Westbank Corp. and Allied Properties REIT (AP-UN-T).

Berger said it provided the entire building to a single tenant in this case because Deloitte is a major global partner for IWG, and Spaces will soon have several co-working locations in the city.

“We would have been more sensitive towards connecting with one organization if our Spaces plan in Vancouver was truly just one location,” he said.

“What we’re seeing is really a tremendous amount of growth amongst a large number of companies in the Lower Mainland (and) Vancouver,” he said. “Start-ups, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and high growth companies who need co-working as a great space and a great destination.”

There is also “surging demand” from large, global companies such as Deloitte in need of flexible, quickly accessible space.

“In this case, what we’re seeing as well is a large interest in enterprise-related companies and large global companies, which are looking to further invest in Vancouver,” Berger said. “They’re specifically looking at co-working as their solution and operating model, which will help lead us towards greater growth in the market.”

Deloitte needed space for 700 employees

Deloitte needed a temporary space to accommodate the bulk of its staff until it moves into the new Georgia Street space, said Etienne Bruson, Deloitte’s managing partner in B.C.

“The Spaces space at the Tom Lee Building fits all of the criteria that we had for our practise,” he told RENX. “We currently have around 800 people in our practise (in Vancouver).

“The Tom Lee would not necessarily handle our entire practice so we are going to have a smaller secondary location, but Tom Lee will be our primary location. We’re expecting to have around 700 people there.”

The old Tom Lee space, and eventually the new office at 400 West Georgia, will accommodate Deloitte’s full suite of services, including a cyber security intelligence centre and digital practise.

“It was very tight to get the timelines we wanted,” Bruson said. “We’re very pleased with where we are ending up with the ability to go to Spaces for a temporary basis and then move into 400 West Georgia as quickly as 2021.”

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