The replacement tower for the fire ravaged Kelly Ramsey building opened Thursday, downtown.
In 2009, the original building was gutted by fire. Despite the destruction, developer John Day bought the building, and hoped to preserve the exterior.
The building’s original façade was declared a municipal historic resource and the developer received nearly $1.8 million in public funds for restoration.
Day told Global News that it was important to honour the past.
“Our team was determined to preserve the legacy of John Kelly and James Ramsey,” explained Day. “This wasn’t just another project. For all of us involved, it was a passion. With this project we wanted to honour both the city’s past, and embrace its future.”
The old Kelly Ramsey building was taken down brick by brick, each one numbered and put into storage. The bricks that could be salvaged now make up second to fourth floors of the new Enbridge Centre.
— vinesh pratap (@vineshpratap) October 13, 2016
The new building, formerly known as the Kelly Ramsey Tower, becomes one of the largest private-sector tenants in downtown, leasing about 664,000 square feet of office space.
It will house about two-thirds of Enbridge’s downtown workforce, which is about 2,100 people. Enbridge employees had previously worked out of six buildings.
Day says the building reflects Edmonton as a city.
“As a lifelong Edmontonian, I can honestly say that I’ve never our city so confident in what it can do and where it can go,” said Day. “I’d like to think that this building exemplifies that growing self-assurance. As a boy growing up in Edmonton, I always considered the Kelly Ramsey building in the downtown core as a defining architectural feature.”
Enbridge employees and contractors will occupy 14 floors of the 25-storey tower located at 100A Street and Rice Howard Way. Other tenants include KPMG, Field Law and Parlee McLaws LLP.
Day also said the tower further represents the revitalization of Edmonton’s downtown.
“With more and more businesses choosing to make their home here, downtown is once again becoming the beating heart of our city,” said Day. “So in a sense, we’re celebrating more than just a building today. Enbridge Centre is a symbol of downtown Edmonton’s renaissance, a structure that’s going to play a role in defining our city’s future.”
The original Kelly Ramsey building was constructed in 1926. With files from Global News (km)