Construction of a new 7,800-sqm head office for West Coast-based shipbuilder Seaspan began last Friday in North Vancouver.

The corporate headquarters which is being erected at the foot of Pemberton Avenue is scheduled for completion in late 2015.

The four-storey facility will house some 350 personnel to accommodate an expected growth of Seaspan’s workforce from the current count of 130 as the company ramps up operations tied to the country’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

The building will include a state-of-the-art office space, meeting rooms, an expanded bike storage, electric vehicle charging stations, a full-service cafeteria and a panoramic view of the Vancouver Harbour.


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The office design will also incorporate a number of green building standards such as passive heating and reduced water use, and involve an extensive reconfiguration of the current parking lot, including the addition of 122 new stalls.

“Today is an exciting day for Seaspan and its 2200 employees,” said Jonathan Whitworth, CEO of Seaspan. “This ceremony not only marks the latest step in Seaspan’s renaissance in Canada’s shipbuilding and marine industrial base but also represents our role in the resurgence of sustained employment and economic activity on the West Coast.”

The construction is a significant progress in the execution of the NSPS, according to Jonathan Wilkinson, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver.

“The Government of Canada remains fully supportive of this program and of Seaspan’s important role in it,” Wilkinson said. “For North Vancouver, the shipbuilding projects being undertaken by Seaspan under the NSPS will have a significant economic impact – including the creation of a significant number of well-paying jobs.”

The event  follows on the heels of the start of construction on the first NSPS ship – the Canadian Coast Guard’s Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV). Construction of the OFSV started this June after the on-time and under-budget completion of Vancouver Shipyard’s two-year, $170 million Shipyard Modernization Project.

Seaspan expects to hire another 1,300 trade workers and office staff over the next five years. It is estimated that Seaspan’s NSPS work will create 5,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs over the next 20 years, produce almost $500 million per year in GDP for B.C.’s economy, according to the company.