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HomeBusinessICBC moving headquarters to Vancouver or Burnaby 

ICBC moving headquarters to Vancouver or Burnaby 

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Bob Mackin

ICBC’s new headquarters could be in Vancouver or Burnaby. 

In the NDP government’s Feb. 22 budget, the three-year plan for the auto insurance and driving regulator Crown corporation earmarked $164 million for relocation from Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. The cost includes a 15-year lease and leasehold improvements beginning April 1, 2025. But the new location was not specified.

ICBC’s North Vancouver headquarters (LinkedIn)

“Timing and amount of expenditure is subject to change and board approval,” the service plan said. 

ICBC spokesperson Greg Harper said the transition will take until 2027 and the budget is an estimate based on market rates for space in the target areas of Brentwood and Metrotown in Burnaby and the False Creek Flats and Broadway Tech Centre in Vancouver.

“We’ve found multiple properties that can provide features important to our employees and company,” Harper said in a prepared statement. “These properties are located in four Metro Vancouver areas. We continue working with our broker to gain an in-depth understanding of what these properties can offer.”

The previous BC Liberal government had pondered a move prior to the NDP coming to power in July 2017. Internal reports indicated it could cost ICBC $184 million to upgrade and maintain the 1983-built, six-storey tower. 

BC Assessment Authority pegged 151 Esplanade’s value last year at $92.2 million. It was $103.8 million two years prior.

When ICBC said in 2022 that it would leave North Vancouver in three to five years, it cited the pandemic-sparked work-from-home trend. Its offices were more than half empty and seven out of 10 ICBC workers reside away from the North Shore. 

“Government is going to make a profit on the sale of their building on the North Shore,” said Richard McCandless, a retired senior B.C. government bureaucrat who analyzes the performance of Crown utilities. “It obviously seems like somebody thinks they can make the money off moving ICBC out of there. So they’re prepared to pay ICBC’s cost to make that move.”

The ICBC tower is an anchor of the B.C. Development Corporation’s mixed use Lonsdale Quay project launched in 1979 by Premier Bill Bennett around the SeaBus terminal. 

The area is also home to BC Railway Company, the Crown corporation that leases BC Rail’s former land and tracks to private operator CN Rail. 

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