Oxford Place Offers World-Class Experience for Our Customers
In the summer of 2016, four Oxford buildings in downtown Vancouver came together under one name to offer customers a truly world-class experience. Leveraging services at all four buildings, Oxford Place, made up of MNP Tower, Oceanic Plaza, the Marine Building and Guinness Tower, offers an unmatched set of amenities including a best in class fitness centre, bicycle facility, conference rooms, a climbing wall, yoga and fitness classes, convenient parking, numerous restaurants and a corporate concierge. The inclusion of all four buildings now allows customers to utilize amenities across the complex.
Further to the amenities available, Oxford Place leads a world-class experience for our customers in the following ways:
- LEED Gold Certifications – Oceanic Plaza, Guinness Tower and the historic Marine Building achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification in 2016. Attaining LEED certification means enhanced energy efficiency, increased comfort and indoor air quality, and responsible resource and waste management. In the process, the buildings’ heating and cooling systems were upgraded to ensure the highest standard of indoor air quality. The certification process involved working with customers to gather pertinent information about energy use and waste diversion – a joint effort between all. Oxford Place certainly leaves a sustainable mark on the Vancouver skyline.
- Connectivity to the City – Working with the City of Vancouver, a crosswalk was completed, linking Guinness Tower to Oceanic Plaza allowing for interconnectivity between buildings. The local operations team saw an opportunity to connect these buildings for the wellbeing of our customers and local community. The crosswalk offers a direct connection between Guinness Tower and Oceanic Plaza, allowing customers to safely cross West Hastings Street when travelling between buildings. By adding the crosswalk, Oxford Place has a vastly increased sense of connectivity to the city fabric.
- Focus on Building Community – Oxford Place was proud to launch an enhanced complex for our customers. During the official launch of Oxford Place, the complex put in new outdoor ping pong tables for customers to use, as well as a table within the Oxford Playground in MNP Tower. Customers were given personalized paddles and balls to get them excited about this new amenity while fostering positive competition and activity in this new space.
Getting Healthy with Our Customers
Our customers were invited for a four-week regime of total body conditioning free of charge every Sunday in February. As an added incentive, customers were rewarded for attending all four sessions with a Kingsway gift card. This event was a huge success, not only for increasing traffic, but also for being recognized as a business that promotes health.
We were approached by our tenant lululemon to see if it would be possible to transform our underground heated parking lot into a track so their run club and members of the community could escape from the harsh winter cold and run indoors. We were thrilled at the idea of repurposing the parking level for such a beneficial activity. Working with the tenant, security and operations, we were able to safely find a time (Sunday mornings at 7 am) when employees and shoppers would not be impacted. This past Sunday, we had our first event and it was a hit! We had over 80 runners participate and run around the 600 metre "track" while listening to 2016's top musical hits. They were thrilled not to be running in the -20 degree weather outside that morning. The response from participants was overwhelmingly positive as was the response on social media when we posted the images and videos.
As part of Southcentre's Fit Fab Feb program, we are offering healthy cooking classes to our shoppers in our Inner Circle. Shoppers on our mailing list were invited to learn hands-on how to prepare fresh and healthy meals every Thursday evening. Classes included how to make fresh tortillas and salsa, salad rolls and dipping sauce, sushi and healthy grain salads. To participate in this event we suggested a $10 donation to Brown Bagging for Calgary's Kids.
Every school day, the Brown Bagging for Calgary's Kids community delivers 3,200 lunches to kids in Calgary who would otherwise go without. The number of kids in need of a lunch this year has risen from the 2,500 a day in September 2015. 100% of the funding comes from the community.
Our classes filled up within a day of posting and have been a huge hit with our shoppers. We also raised $1,000 which equals 1,000 lunches for kids in our community.
Engaging Our Boston Customers in Sustainability
In 2015, Oxford launched a tenant engagement program across its Boston office portfolio. With a four-year track record in Canada, the tenant engagement program has clear goals: align with customers’ corporate social responsibility mandates, focus on energy performance and operational efficiency, and help individuals do their part in the buildings where they work.
The Boston office portfolio got off to a great start by establishing a joint landlord-customer green team. Consisting of about 20 members and with over 50% participation (based on tenant square footage), the green team provides a space for tenants to collaborate on dynamic environmental campaigns, share best practices, and design initiatives that are relevant, innovative, and have an impact on both comfort and energy efficiency.
Throughout the year, the Boston green team incorporated actions and communications around recycling practices, reducing after-hours energy use, and promoting alternative commuting options. Oxford Recycles, a notable event, educates customers about what items go where in their building’s waste program in an effort to increase waste diversion. Participants from across the Boston portfolio played an interactive drag and drop game that mimicked their building’s program. Across the properties, more than 1,000 people played the game in their lobbies and online. And this was just the first event!
Changing occupant behaviour in office buildings plays a major role in reducing energy, saving on utility costs, diverting waste, and making for a healthier work environment. Kudos to the Oxford team in Boston for encouraging dialogue with valued customers and making our buildings better.
Joint Customer-Landlord Green Teams
With tenant energy use representing an estimated one-third of a typical office building’s operations, it is important to engage in healthy dialogue around what tenants can do to help reduce energy consumption and costs. As a starting point in 2012, Oxford launched joint landlord-tenant green teams across its office portfolio. Green teams meet quarterly to focus on sustainability goals, best practices and challenges aimed at creating more sustainable workplaces. Green teams also align Oxford’s efforts with customers’ objectives and sustainability priorities.
Today, all of our directly managed office towers have formed their own customer-landlord green teams, representing hundreds of customers operating in 44 office buildings across Canada and the US. We have achieved an average 70% customer participation rate at green team meetings across the portfolio and an overall 89% customer satisfaction rating from members.
Meetings include discussions around energy benchmarking, management and reduction, materials and waste diversion, procurement, indoor environmental quality, comfort and wellness, and how all these factors relate to our greater community, buildings and individuals within.
The program engages organizations and their employees in meaningful initiatives that seek to align sustainable actions with business and operating objectives. An example of this is the highly popular Oxford Recycles program and game where properties work with customers to evolve their waste program through proper education and awareness, customized signage tailored to individual customer needs and spaces, a robust organics recycling program, and the introduction of various waste-specific programs such as paper towel and coffee capsule recycling. Office properties across Canada have increased their waste diversion rate from an average of 60% in 2012 to 70% in 2015 due to ongoing discourse and combined efforts.
Our goal is to build strategies with our green team members that create more sustainable workplaces. Together, we can reduce energy use, increase waste diversion, procure responsibly, and promote sustainability and wellness for our buildings and the people in them.
State-of-the-Art Bike Facility in Edmonton
After two years of planning and many requests from our tenants, Oxford's Edmonton City Centre launched the Oxford Cycle Centre in the fall of 2015.
This energy efficient, brightly lit indoor facility available to tenants in Oxford Tower, TD Tower and Edmonton City Centre Mall hits all the marks on wellness, sustainability and security. While in the planning stages, we asked our tenants, “How can we make this more than just cages for bikes?” They responded with a wish list including: shower facilities with towel service, lockers, complimentary hair dryers, curling irons, and toiletries. We took it a step further and added a wash station for bikes, a bike repair and tool station, and benches for changing shoes or wet weather gear.
As downtown Edmonton continues to grow and develop with more office and retail tenants, it is important to provide up-to-date, industry-leading amenities. This tenant-only bike storage facility is the newest addition to Edmonton City Centre. Office and retail tenants alike can enjoy card reader access, bike racks, showers, towels, lockers, a bike wash station, a water bottle fill-up, and a repair station. With room for 65 bikes, the space is equipped with bright green racks and a special pebbled floor that makes it easier to walk on in cycling shoes.