Tallest tower in prov­ince will be Nutrien’s new HQ

Project go­ing up at River Land­ing will house es­ti­mated 400 work­ers

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - NEWS - ALEX MACPHER­SON

The world’s largest fer­til­izer com­pany is set to move into what will be­come the prov­ince’s tallest of­fice build­ing once it’s built on the north edge of Saska­toon’s River Land­ing.

Nutrien Ltd. on Thurs­day an­nounced plans to re­lo­cate its roughly 300 lo­cal em­ploy­ees to the 18-storey steel-and-glass tower, con­struc­tion of which is set to be­gin soon.

While the terms of the agree­ment are con­fi­den­tial, Nutrien pres­i­dent and CEO Chuck Ma­gro de­scribed it as a multi-year, mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar in­vest­ment for the com­pany.

“We need the space and we need top tal­ent in this com­mu­nity to help us with our growth platform, be­cause we have big plans to grow Nutrien glob­ally,” Ma­gro told re­porters Thurs­day.

Es­tab­lished on Jan. 1 in the merger be­tween Po­tash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc., Nutrien owns and op­er­ates six of the prov­ince’s 10 ac­tive po­tash mines.

Dur­ing the lead-up to the merger, for­mer Pre­mier Brad Wall raised con­cerns about the pos­si­bil­ity of cor­po­rate of­fice jobs slip­ping away to Cal­gary, where Agrium was head­quar­tered.

While Nutrien cut more than 30 head of­fice jobs fol­low­ing the merger, Ma­gro told re­porters the eight floors it ex­pects to oc­cupy will pro­vide room for around 400 po­si­tions.

That com­mit­ment is likely to as­suage what­ever resid­ual fears were left months af­ter the merger, Saskatchewan En­ergy and Re­sources Min­is­ter Bron­wyn Eyre said.

“I think what’s im­por­tant about this is that there’s room to grow, phys­i­cally and in other ways,” Eyre said, adding that Nutrien will be­come an even more im­por­tant pres­ence in the prov­ince.

“We did it be­cause we wanted to in­vest into the com­mu­nity. We think Saskatchewan is go­ing to be a growth com­mu­nity for Nutrien,” Ma­gro said.

Among oth­ers, the of­fice will be home to Su­san Jones, the new head of Nutrien’s po­tash di­vi­sion.

Nutrien Tower — which Ma­gro joked was a “pretty orig­i­nal” name — is ex­pected to meet LEED Gold stan­dards and in­clude a host of ameni­ties, in­clud­ing a rooftop gar­den and fit­ness cen­tre.

It will be the third build­ing in a $300-mil­lion com­plex un­der de­vel­op­ment by Tri­ovest Real­tors Ad­vi­sors Ltd. for own­ers Vic­tory Ma­jors De­vel­op­ment Corp. and Grey­stone Man­aged In­vest­ments Inc.

The 180,000-square-foot east tower, which is un­der con­struc­tion, will be home to the law firm MLT Aikins LLP. Tri­ovest re­ported late last year that the build­ing was 40 per cent leased, and will be fin­ished by fall 2019.

The cur­rent tallest build­ing in Saskatchewan is the Mo­saic Po­tash Tower in down­town Regina.

Nutrien last month re­ported los­ing US$1 mil­lion on sales to­talling US$3.7 bil­lion in its first quar­ter of op­er­a­tions.

Ma­gro ac­knowl­edged that the global po­tash mar­ket re­mains over­sup­plied with new min­ing ca­pac­ity still to come on­line, but said Nutrien ex­pects de­mand — and pro­duc­tion — to con­tinue in­creas­ing. “We think that over the next few years we’ll see even fur­ther in­creases in our pro­duc­tion and sales glob­ally from Saskatchewan. So the mar­ket is im­prov­ing but we have a ways to go.”

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