The Exchange

Canada’s first LEED Platinum heritage conversion opens

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Credit Suisse Asset Management and Vancouver-based Swissreal Investments officially opened The Exchange office tower yesterday in Vancouver’s Financial District.

The Exchange is a $240 million investment and the first major project in North America that a real estate fund of Credit Suisse Asset Management built from the ground up.

“A few years ago, we expressed our confidence in Vancouver’s economy and its future,” said Christoph Schumacher, head of global real estate at Credit Suisse Asset Management. “While we would typically invest in a fully-developed leased property, we were confident that we could manage this development from start to finish, which speaks to our confidence in Vancouver and its future. Made possible by international partnerships, today, we are proud to deliver an office tower that defines the next generation.”

The 31-storey building is Vancouver’s tallest LEED Platinum office tower and Canada’s first LEED Platinum heritage conversion with the restoration of the Old Stock Exchange building, which opened in 1929. The building ranks as Canada’s eighth largest LEED Platinum office project.

“When we approached Credit Suisse about building an office tower in Vancouver, critical to their decision was that the project achieve the highest environmental standards and architectural excellence,” said Franz Gehriger, CEO of SwissReal Investments.

World-renowned Swiss architect Harry Gugger designed The Exchange in collaboration with Vancouver-based architectural firm Iredale. Last month, The Exchange won the 2017 American Architecture Prize for Heritage Architecture.

“The new tower arose entirely from the context of the Old Stock Exchange building, which we preserved as the cornerstone of the new structure,” said Gugger, known for his work on Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium and London’s Tate Modern Gallery. “The Exchange is a distinctive, iconic pillar of Vancouver’s historic financial district. Viewed from the street, the elegant pinstripes of its façade mullions create a unique identity for the tower at the heart of Vancouver’s downtown.”

The Exchange will have half the energy load of a traditional office building, with a 35 per cent reduction in energy costs and an 85 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

More than 200 people attended the grand opening for The Exchange, Vancouver's tallest LEED Platinum office tower.

More than 200 people attended the grand opening for The Exchange, Vancouver’s tallest LEED Platinum office tower.

With Vancouver’s office market currently ranking the second tightest in North America, The Exchange is already almost two-thirds leased. Its anchor tenant, National Bank, is the second oldest and sixth largest bank in Canada.

Executive Hotels will operate a luxury boutique hotel in the heritage portion of the building, while a Vancouver accounting firm, Smythe LLP, and a fintech company, HyperWallet Systems, will occupy a total of 50,500 square feet. Swiss chocolatier Lindt has a retail store on the ground level, and Sovereign General Insurance recently signed a lease.

Top photo from left to right, lead architect Harry Gugger, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Credit Suisse Asset Management’s Christoph Schumacher, SwissReal’s Franz Gehriger. 

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