Another tech giant from the Seattle area decided to make further breakthroughs within its northern neighbor.
Daily Hive Urbanized has learned that Microsoft will open an additional new main office location in downtown Vancouver.
This will be an expanded presence for Microsoft, which already has four office locations downtown.
Sources tell Daily Hive Urbanized that the office location will be Microsoft’s largest office location in Vancouver. The office is located in the futuristic B6 (Bentall 6) office tower at 1090 West Pender Street – the southeast corner of the intersection of Thurlow Street and West Pender Street, near the SkyTrain Burrard station.
Microsoft will occupy approximately 400,000 square feet across approximately 20 floors of this 403-foot-high, 33-story office tower with 562,000 square feet of premium Class AAA office space. There will be enough office space for thousands of Microsoft employees.
Construction on the B6 first began in 2019, and as of today, more than half of the concrete floor slab has progressed, with work on the tower now reaching the 18th floor. Project B6 is expected to be completed sometime in the first half of 2023.
The tower was developed by BentallGreenOak, and designed by local architecture firm Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership. During the project design and planning phase, it was stated that the relatively large floor slab sizes – between 14,000 square feet and 21,000 square feet – were intentionally suitable for large corporations and technology companies. The building also includes spacious indoor and outdoor rooftop rest areas for workers.
The new location is expected to accommodate the company’s growth in technical development jobs in the city.
Daily Hive Urbanized has contacted Microsoft and BentallGreenOak but received no feedback in time for publication. Microsoft’s presence in the B6 has yet to be officially announced.
As of the end of 2021, Microsoft’s presence in downtown Vancouver has reached 1,700 employees across all office locations.
Microsoft’s futuristic office at B6 is nearly three times larger than its 142,000-square-foot office opened in 2016, known as the Microsoft Canada Excellence Center, above Nordstrom within the CF Pacific Center building.
In 2021, Microsoft also acquired 75,000 square feet of office space within a new seven-story building at 155 Water Street in Gastown.
The company also has other office locations at 858 Beatty Street next to BC Place Stadium and 155 Water Street within The Landing building next to Waterfront Station.
The office at B6 will be nearly three times larger than Microsoft’s newly opened 132,000-square-foot office location in downtown Toronto on CIBC Arena.
Microsoft’s new push into Vancouver is second only to Amazon’s growth, which will occupy more than 1 million square feet of office space within The Post’s downtown redevelopment. The Post’s first phase – the new South office tower – is scheduled to open later this year, while the rest of the complex will open by fall 2023. Amazon will employ 6,000 office workers at The Post, as well as a few other locations around the world. Downtown, including all newly built 152,000 square feet office buildings at 402 Dunsmuir Street, is just across the street.
Downtown Vancouver continues to have the lowest office vacancy rate among city centers in major metropolitan areas in North America. The 7.7% vacancy rate is still within the healthy range and represents an increase over the low unwanted vacancies of around 1% prior to the pandemic. The demand for office space in downtown Vancouver is driven by the continued strong growth of the local technology industry and the accelerating return to the office workplace.
Several new office buildings began construction in and near downtown earlier this year, buoyed by confidence in Vancouver’s long-term office demand. Additionally, downtown will see a few new office buildings completed this year, including the completion of Deloitte Summit earlier this spring.