Edmonton Tower, the first office tower in the downtown ICE District to be completed, celebrated its grand opening last week.

Edmonton Tower, image by Dave Sutherland

Though tenants have been moving in gradually — we covered the opening of its daycare centre three months ago — activity at the tower picks up this week with the opening of the new Edmonton Service Centre on the second floor. Media were given a preview last week of the 60,000-square-foot one-stop-shop for city services ahead of its opening.

Opening Soon, image by Dave Sutherland

The City of Edmonton is the primary tenant of the the 27-storey tower by Katz Group and ONE Properties, occupying 17 floors to consolidate 2,300 employees from other buildings downtown. The second and third floors in particular bring together seven previously distinct service centres into a single downtown location for everything from paying property tax bills to obtaining development permits to buying ETS bus passes.

Edmonton Service Centre, image by Dave Sutherland

Residents visiting the service centre are greeted with a modern touch-screen kiosk where they select their needed service and are registered in the queue. A printed receipt displays their call number as well as the estimated wait time. A large, open, and accessible waiting area allows customers to wait in comfort, though the Tim Hortons — opening in the tower this summer — should also prove to be a popular waiting area when complete.

Service Centre Kiosk, image by Dave Sutherland

Once one of the estimated 23 service centre representatives is available to assist you, your call number is displayed on the large monitors directing you to the appropriate station number. People with hearing impairments are accommodated by hearing loops at 20 of the stations, and six stations are designed for those with physical accessibility requirements.

Service Centre Counters, image by Dave Sutherland

An additional five counters are designed for reviewing large plans for permits, as are several meeting rooms and service areas located around the centre.

Meeting Room, image by Dave Sutherland

Residents needing to do some research for their service needs can access the Reference Room, a library stocked with reference books, guides, and studies on laws, civics, geology, and more.

Reference Room, image by Dave Sutherland

Upon completion of services, residents are encouraged to scan the QR code on their receipt, which links to a feedback survey. Results are collected and reviewed to ensure the best quality service for Edmonton residents and businesses.

QR Code-linked survey, image by Dave Sutherland

The Edmonton Service Centre is expecting 1,200 customers on its opening day, and up to 3,000 a day during busier periods such as the start of construction season. The centralized and high-tech approach is relatively new for a city the size of Edmonton, and the hope is that if successful, it will be a model for other cities to follow.

Tim Hortons opening soon, image by Dave Sutherland

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