EPCOR Tower at Station Lands to become EPCOR's new Edmonton headquarters



    EDMONTON, Dec. 7 /CNW/ - The new EPCOR Tower at Station Lands will become
the company's downtown Edmonton headquarters. EPCOR Utilities Inc. ("EPCOR")
has entered into a 20-year lease at Qualico's Station Lands, commencing
January 1, 2012 or earlier.
    EPCOR plans to occupy approximately 265,000 square feet on the top floors
of the new 28-storey office tower, with options to scale its space
requirements up or down during the term of the lease. The 20-year Lease
secures enough space to meet EPCOR's current and long-term needs.
    "The EPCOR Tower reflects the company's leadership and growth in the
power and water business," said President & CEO Don Lowry.
    EPCOR Tower will be certified to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED(R)) Silver standard or higher, reducing energy, water and
resource use. EPCOR's EnVest(TM) team will work with the developer to design
an Environmental Stewardship Program for the building.
    The Tower will bring all EPCOR's downtown employees into a single
location, and offers a superior combination of environmental leadership, high
quality and in-building amenities. "It will help EPCOR attract and retain the
talented people the company needs to grow," Lowry continued, "and demonstrates
environmental leadership."
    Leases at the company's existing Edmonton offices expire at the end of
2011. EPCOR announced earlier in 2007 that it would be considering options for
a new headquarters lease in downtown Edmonton. There are currently nearly
1,200 employees at EPCOR's downtown Edmonton offices, with the total projected
to rise to 1,367 in 2012.
    "EPCOR has more than doubled its revenues and dividend during the past
ten years, doubled its employee count, and gone from operating 5 power and
water plants to 50 across North America," Lowry explained. "The success to
date, and our long-term vision for growth, means that EPCOR needs more space."
EPCOR's Long Term Plan calls for capital spending of nearly $4 billion on new
power and water projects over the next five years.
    The EPCOR Tower will be located on 101st Street, between 104th and 105th
Avenue, Northwest of the CN Tower and North of the surface parking lot at the
corner of 104 Avenue and 101 Street.
    Station Lands is a Qualico project designed by Kasian Architecture
Interior Design and Planning Ltd. (Kasian), with construction management
services to be provided by Ledcor Construction. The firms, as well as the
project sub-consultants, have strong Edmonton roots.

    EPCOR Utilities Inc.

    EPCOR Utilities Inc. builds, owns and/or operates power plants,
electrical transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater
treatment facilities and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. EPCOR
has been named one of Canada's Top 100 employers for eight consecutive years,
and is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. EPCOR's web site is www.epcor.ca.

    Forward Looking Information

    Certain information in this news release is forward looking and related
to anticipated financial performance, events and strategies. When used in this
context, words such as "will", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "intend",
"target" and "expect" or similar words suggest future outcomes. By their
nature, such statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties,
which could cause EPCOR's actual results and experience to be materially
different than the anticipated results. Such risks and uncertainties include,
but are not limited to, operating performance, commodity prices and volumes,
load settlement, regulatory and government decisions, weather and economic
conditions, competitive pressures, construction risks, obtaining financing and
the performance of partners, contractors and suppliers.

    Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements as actual results could differ materially from the plans,
expectations, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking
statements. Except as required by law, EPCOR disclaims any intention and
assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement even if new
information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other
reason.

    
    Note to Media

    The following attachments are available with this news release:
    (1) Backgrounder
    (2) Artist's conceptions of the new EPCOR Tower at Qualico's Station
        Lands. Images will be available at www.epcor.ca, through CNW Group,
        and on disc at the news conference.
    


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Building

    There are currently nearly 1,200 employees at EPCOR's two downtown
offices. Edmonton head office headcount is projected to be 1,367 in 2012. All
EPCOR Centre and TD Tower employees will move to the new building.
    The development will contain an on-site daycare and fitness facility. In
addition, Station Lands intends for the base building to contain a full
service restaurant, deli-style eatery/cafeteria, coffee/tea vendor, ATM, and
dry-cleaning drop-off.
    The plan for the site contemplates extensive retail development in the
podium structure that will eventually cover the entire site.

    The Development

    Station Lands has been issued a Development Permit by the City of
Edmonton. Site preparation is expected to begin in early 2008. EPCOR's lease
commences January 1, 2012, with access 210 days prior to commencement for
fixturing and early move-in. There is an option for earlier occupancy if the
building is completed sooner.
    In the RFP process, EPCOR told developers that there would be preference
for proposals within one block of an LRT station, or within one block of
access to the existing pedway and tunnel system. The EPCOR Tower at Station
Lands is adjacent to stops for 33 Edmonton Transit bus routes, and across the
street from indoor access to the Churchill LRT Station via City Hall.
    The financial terms of the Lease Agreement (January 1, 2012 to
December 31, 2031, with extension rights for up to 15 additional years) are
confidential. Proposals were evaluated against a scorecard that considered the
proposed financial, facility and legal terms. The Station Lands proposal
received the highest overall score of all the options evaluated.

    The RFP Process

    EPCOR announced earlier in 2007 that it would be considering options for
a new headquarters lease in downtown Edmonton, including renewal of current
rental contracts.
    In May 2007, CB Richard Ellis, on behalf of EPCOR, issued a non-binding
RFP to potential developers and property owners. EPCOR said it would consider
proposals for existing, renovated or new space.
    The RFP terms were requested by about twenty potential proponents, and
ten proposals from seven potential developers were received. The proposals
included both new downtown office towers and the redevelopment of existing
spaces.
    On August 1, 2007, EPCOR, assisted by an independent evaluation conducted
by CBRE, shortlisted four potential developers and invited them to participate
in the next phase of the process.
    Based on the evaluation of the competing proposals, EPCOR conducted due
diligence on two of the new build options, and entered into negotiations on
the terms of an Offer to Lease for the Station Lands proposal. EPCOR also
negotiated the terms of an Offer to Lease for the renewal of its existing
space.
    In early November, EPCOR Management recommended to the Board of Directors
that EPCOR enter into a long-term lease with Station Lands for EPCOR's
Edmonton headquarters. The Board authorized Management to negotiate the Lease
Agreement. The Lease Agreement was finalized in early December 2007.

    LEED(R) Silver certification

    Some of the strategies being considered by the developer to meet the
project's sustainability objectives include the following. The final set of
measures will be determined by the project's Environmental Stewardship
Program.

    
    Sustainable Sites
    -----------------
    -   Urban, mixed-use sites reduce dependency on single-occupancy vehicles
        and their associated impacts on greenhouse gas and air emissions, and
        infrastructure demand. The site is intended to create a vibrant, safe
        and walkable community.
    -   The site promotes public transit through adjacency to the LRT and bus
        stops and the provision of bike stalls.
    -   A green roof, combined with Cool Roofing Technology, will reduce
        energy consumption, reduce the urban heat island effect (artificial
        increase in the temperatures of urban areas compared to their
        surroundings) and reduce and treat stormwater run-off.
    -   Site lighting will respect night sky issues and reduce light
        pollution while enhancing building architecture and providing a safe
        and comfortable urban space.

    Water Efficiency
    ----------------
    -   Water consumption is a priority. The use of low-flow fixtures will
        reduce potable water consumption and rainwater will be collected for
        use in irrigating landscaping and the green roof.
    -   These strategies are projected to provide a minimum 20% reduction in
        potable water consumption and will consequently reduce impacts on the
        municipal storm and sanitary systems.

    Energy and Atmosphere
    ---------------------
    -   High performance building envelope and glass to reduce heat loss and
        gain.
    -   Building is designed to minimize the unwanted glare and heat from the
        West Sun while maximizing the harvesting of daylight from the North
        and South.
    -   Electrical equipment will use high efficiency lighting and equipment.
        Appropriately located occupancy and daylight sensors will drastically
        reduce dependence on artificial light.
    -   High efficiency mechanical equipment, including boilers, chillers and
        fans.
    -   Heat recovery on exhaust air to reuse waste heat.
    -   Free cooling will be used when outdoor temperatures are favorable.
    -   Parkade heating using building relief air.
    -   Use of a radiant heating and cooling system, a more efficient way to
        heat and cool as opposed to forced air.

    Indoor Environmental Quality
    ----------------------------
    -   The use of low-VOC materials including paints, carpets, sealants,
        adhesives and composite wood products will significantly reduce
        toxins in the indoor environment such as urea-formaldehyde.
    -   Focus on sustainably harvested and manufactured materials.
    -   Local materials will be favoured to mitigate the environmental damage
        of shipping materials and products over long distances.
    -   Comprehensive on-site recycling program for building occupants.
    -   Comprehensive recycling, re-use and diversion of construction waste.
    -   Materials will contain recycled content where possible. Examples
        include concrete, steel and many finishes will include recycled
        steel, flyash, and post-consumer waste to reduce the demand on virgin
        materials and reuse waste.
    

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information:

For further information: Tim le Riche, (780) 969-8238, cell (780)
721-2013

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EPCOR Utilities Inc.

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