Hot off their success in the Dineen Building at Yonge and Temperance Streets, iQ Office Suites has launched their second location at 250 University Avenue. The former Bank of Canada building presents some unique assets for users of the space. Occupying a full city block, iQ has taken over an entire floor of the space and the basement bank vault which now acts as a 4,500 square foot member's lounge.
iQ Office Suites was launched in 2012 by Alex Sharpe and Kane Willmott, who had previous experience in the real estate industry. The company provides office space curated for the evolving needs and trends of the 21st century. With the cost of prime real estate increasing and a growing mobile workforce, traditional cubicles are being thrown out the window in favour of open concept, personalized spaces. Flexibility and contemporary workspaces are elements that have been adopted in their Toronto locations thus far.
"We built it with the mindset of creating a very unique inspired space, where people would come to work and love being there," said Willmott. "In addition, we looked at how to deal with issues related to shared office space like sound transference. We've installed white noise into our space, we make it very efficient. We put a design in place that really maximizes the use of natural light."
The second floor of the building is bright, due to windows on all four sides, and features a range of diverse workspace options which includes 43 private offices, 12 dedicated desks and five pods. Polished concrete floors and exposed 12-foot ceilings do justice to the original character and grandeur the building. Comparing 250 University to the Dineen Building, Sharpe said, "This building was built in 1957 versus 1897. They're both heritage buildings but 250 University is of a different era. It has a much more 'Mad Men' feeling to it versus the old world charm of 140 Yonge."
Workers enjoy high speed internet, WiFi access throughout the space, printing, faxing, scanning and copying services. iQ members are treated to 1,000 black and white prints or copies per month and unlimited scanning and local faxing. In addition to closed circuit security cameras, the space is always staffed by two iQ personnel during the day.
Private work pods occupy a wide hallway on the second floor. Only accessible via keycard, the spaces are secure and also allow light to enter through large window expanses.
iQ members receive several benefits, including a discount on the professional dry cleaning service Clean it Online. For busy workers with little time, your clothing can be picked up straight from your door and dropped off when it's ready. Photographs of Toronto scenes and other artwork grace the walls, and workers interested in those pieces can order them from Nuvango.com and receive a 30% discount.
Perhaps the star of the space is the basement vault, which stored the bank's bullion. Tastefully converted into a lounge space with meeting rooms, members have access to the space from a private elevator on the second floor.
Four large television screens accent the room, which contains a bar area and three meeting rooms. The vault maintains the original concrete walls and columns that give the space a unique personality.
While the vault will be a popular spot enjoyed by iQ members, especially during happy hour Wednesdays, it can also be rented out to the public for special events.
iQ Office Suites hopes to build upon its success by opening up more downtown locations, where clients have expressed a desire to stay close to higher-order transit and amenities. "We're actively pursuing locations in Yorkville, Downtown West and St. Lawrence," said Sharpe, who has his eye on heritage properties throughout the core.
If you want to check the spaces out in person, tours can be arranged on the iQ Office Suites website.