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First Group Of Irving Oil Employees Move Into New Building Uptown

The view from the ground floor of the interior of the new Irving Oil building. Image: Irving Oil Facebook page.

SAINT JOHN – The new Irving Oil headquarters welcomed its first group of employees this week, according to a post on the company’s Facebook page. More than 1,000 people will move in over the next few weeks.

Irving Oil unveiled its plans to construct a new headquarters back in February of 2016 when it gathered a group of local dignitaries and employees at the proposed site beside the Imperial Theatre.

“We’re putting a very strong emphasis these days on bringing our people together and the collaboration of our people and our teams,” said Irving Oil president Ian Whitcomb at the time.

“Right now we’re in five separate locations all throughout the city and we’re travelling constantly to keep connected and to keep people together. So putting everyone together in one space is going to have a big impact.”

The proposed 11-storey building soon become engulfed in controversy. The project was approved by the Saint John Heritage Development Board. But local architect and former city heritage planner Jim Bezanson said the proposed building was too high and set too far back from the sidewalk to meet the city’s heritage conservation rules.

Bezanson filed an appeal of the decision and the Irving Oil announced the project was indefinitely on hold.

The city council got the project back on track by rewriting the heritage rules with respect to the proposed site, and construction began in June of 2016.

A Huddle photographer and reporter received a tour of the building under construction in April of 2017. We made a request for another this week and were told we’d get a tour as soon as all of the employees are settled in, so stay tuned.

RELATED: A Look Inside The Construction Of The New Irving Oil HQ