BMO Financial Group is gobbling up 350,000 square-feet of commercial space in downtown Toronto to build a new “tech campus.”

The campus, which will repurpose bankrupt retail giant Sears’ former headquarters at the city’s Eaton Centre, is one of the Bank of Montreal’s most significant workplace design projects since ground was broken on its headquarters 40 years ago, according to a March 1 press release.

BMO CEO Darryl White said the campus’s primary goal will be to help speed up the delivery of customer solutions to market and attract top talent.

“We’re positioning the bank to be at the forefront of change and lead the industry. This project is another example of how BMO is embracing cutting-edge workplace design to do that more,” he said, emphasizing that customers are at the centre of the project. “This step we are taking is all about our customers because ultimately, it is they who lead our bank.”

Source: BMO Financial Group.

The new building will feature a four-storey atrium, advanced digital technology on every floor, open floor plans, collaborative work spaces, and easy underground access to other major BMO locations, public transit, and restaurants and other entertainment options.

White emphasized that the new centre doesn’t mean BMO is abandoning its headquarters at downtown Toronto’s First Canadian Place, where the company recently extended its lease for another 15 years.

John Sullivan, president and CEO of Eaton Centre owners Cadillac Fairview, said his company was excited about the opportunity to collaborate with BMO.

“BMO’s urban campus will stand out as a vibrant environment to stimulate bold ideas, foster new ways of working, and ultimately attract the best talent,” he said.

The building is expected to open in 2021.

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