Still space at Fortis Place

Flagship office building at 80 per cent occupancy

Ashley Fitzpatrick
Published on August 22, 2014
Fortis Place in downtown St. John’s is nearing completion. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

It’s still under construction, undergoing floor-by-floor “fit-ups,” but Fortis Place is nearly ready for tenants.

The 12-storey office building on Springdale Street in downtown St. John’s is nearing the point where its 146,425 square feet will be filled with workers on day-to-day business.

According to the vice-president of real estate at Fortis Properties, Terry Chaffey, the company will soon be seeking occupancy permits from the city.

Fortis wanted about 50 per cent of the building pre-leased. Currently, companies have signed on to fill about 80 per cent of the space.

“So we’re pretty happy about that,” Chaffey said.

“Some of our tenants will be moving in in September,” he added, naming Deloitte and Ernst and Young as major tenants. He confirmed Schlumberger and Seadrill would also be moving in.

Local coffee roaster Jumping Bean has signed on for retail space in the lobby.

About a quarter of the building is set to be occupied by Fortis Properties and Fortis Inc. — the latter continuing to grow and having just closed its latest energy-related acquisition in the United States.

“Quite honestly, we’d hoped to be in there this spring,” Chaffey said, noting the office building project faced some delay in its completion and “a little pressure” on its capital budget.

“But actually, it’s tough to define because we enlarged the scope of our project,” he said, adding cost additions were “not a significant change.”

As for the name of the building, “Fortis Place” was agonized over, he said, because of its closeness to “Fortis Building” — an entirely separate 12-storey office tower at 139 Water St. in

St. John’s.

Whatever the name that’s eventually settled upon, the office tower is recognized as part of a collection of renovated and new projects in the west end of the downtown.

“We’re happy to be part of that revitalization,” Chaffey said.