Contact Us

4 Things To Know About Manulife’s Newly Opened 980 Howe

Vancouver Office

Manulife Real Estate last week celebrated the grand opening of 980 Howe St, a 16-storey office tower boasting a first-in-Vancouver public art installation. Here are four things to know about the latest skyline addition.

1. It Gives Manulife a Bigger Footprint


With this $70M project, Manulife now owns 3.5M SF across Metro Vancouver, part of a 62M SF, $19.6B global portfolio. Amenities at 980 Howe include a rooftop garden terrace and WiFi-powered penthouse boardroom (below), a fitness centre with change rooms and showers, and conference facilities for 100-plus. There are 200 underground car-park spaces and 55 secured bike-parking spaces. Street-level retailers are Railtown Cafe and Freshii. Manulife Real Estate CEO Kevin Adolphe anticipates “continued growth” here and across Western Canada.

2. It’s Going For Gold


The building, designed by CEI Architecture and Endall Eillot, is pursuing LEED Gold (CS) certification. It’s got rainwater harvesting for irrigation, floor-to-ceiling triple-paned windows, lighting sensors, low-flow plumbing fixtures and electric car charging stations. The green-ness of 980 Howe played a part in persuading BGC Engineering to ink a 15-year lease on four floors (average size 18k SF). Other tenants include ACL services and Jarvis McGee Rice Trial Lawyers. The building’s a two-minute walk to the Arthur Erickson-designed Supreme Law Courts, and a four-minute stroll to the redeveloped Pacific Centre.

3. It Adds a Splash of Colour


The tower’s exterior features a back-lit dichroic glass installation by local artist Bill Pechet, four LED bands along its south- and west-facing facades that shift colour based on light conditions and perspective. This marks the first time public art has been integrated into the structure of a building in Vancouver this way, making it accessible to those who work in and visit the tower, plus anyone within the building's sight lines. PECHET Studio is also designing a system of suspended lighting for two blocks of Alberni Street, to distinguish this emerging "luxury shopping mecca" from all others in the downtown peninsula.

4. It Caps a Big Year for Manulife


Manulife is wrapping up a busy year in real estate. In September, it acquired Manulife Tower in Hong Kong (pictured is EVP Michael Huddart with project developer Wheelock Properties' Douglas Woo). In the same month, its US division John Hancock bought 1750 Pennsylvania Ave, a 13-storey office building in Washington, DC. In June it purchased One South Wacker, a 40-storey Chicago office tower. And earlier in the year it snagged a nine-building commercial portfolio and two residential communities in San Diego. Manulife also acquired the Canadian-based operations, and real estate, of Standard Life Plc.