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EA Vancouver expanding into MEC’s former HQ

The Burnaby-based gaming giant is expanding its local footprint, but is focused on sustainability
Former MEC headquarters in Vancouver’s False Creek Flats sold for $103 million in 2021

Electronic Arts Canada Inc. (EA Vancouver), known for developing NHL and FIFA video games, is now making a play for the City of Vancouver.

While the gaming studio has been based in neighbouring Burnaby for 30 years, it’s set to expand into the former headquarters of outdoor equipment retailer MEC beginning this coming spring.

MEC sold the building to Low Tide Properties and PCI Developments for $103 million earlier this year after moving into the 112,000-square-foot facility in late 2014. It originally cost $28 million to build.

"We're excited to have this great new footprint, with amazing amenities for our team, to add to our flagship Burnaby studio as we continue to invest in our teams and leadership in the market," Jon Lutz, EA Vancouver’s vice-president of strategy, operations and finance, said in a July 30 statement.

"The support to health and wellness that are present at the new location not only helps EA attract and retain great talent, but it provides staff with an environment in which they can do their best work."

Despite the impending expansion into the City of Vancouver, EA’s Canadian corporate headquarters will remain in Burnaby.

The new Vancouver location at 1077 Great Northern Way is close to other tech companies with offices along that thoroughfare and as well as post-secondary institutes such as the Centre for Digital Media and Vancouver Community College.

The four-storey complex was built to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standard, which is the highest level possible in that U.S. Green Building Council-operated program. 

Some sustainable aspects of the building include:

• Rainwater is stored, reused and then captured in gardens.

• Heat is drawn from underground geo-thermal wells.

• Sensors monitor sunlight to automatically lower and raise blinds and switch lights on and off.

"Our future move into 1077 Great Northern Way is very much in keeping with EA's multiple green goals, including a global commitment to reduce energy and water consumption," Lutz said.

MEC bought the four-acre site in 2008.

—With files from Glen Korstrom