The relationship between Oxford Developments and the PCL family of companies has spanned more than five decades, encompassed more than $4 billion in development projects, and reached across the continent.
THE OXFORD CONNECTION
Starting on its home turf, PCL’s (then Poole Construction) first project for Oxford was Edmonton’s Essex Building in 1961, followed by the Bank of Montreal that same year and the Royal Bank of Canada in 1964. PCL and Oxford quickly learned that they could replicate their success.
The team created a template for 120,000-square-foot, 10-story structures that was eminently workable for financial institutions, and over the next decade, PCL built a number of office complexes for Oxford. Office complexes expanded to shopping malls and mixed-use properties in major centers across Canada.
INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION
This spirit of innovation and collaboration enabled Oxford and PCL to pioneer numerous concepts in financing and construction. They tackled new ideas and pushed their limits, taking calculated risks that paid off. Establishing processes, like guaranteed maximum price contracts with cost-sharing formulas that paid back for a job well done, were some of the legacies of the early partnership that are still in use today.
PARTNERSHIP LEADS TO AMERICAN EXPANSION
Oxford was looking to expand into the US and turned to PCL to help it gain a foothold in the Denver market. PCL’s first Denver project was Denver Square.The Anaconda Tower was then completed eight months ahead of schedule. These projects allowed PCL to prove its mettle in a highly competitive market, while establishing a base for its US operations.
A successful start in revitalizing Denver’s downtown core led to the opening of a PCL office in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Construction of the United Bank headquarters in Phoenix in 1980 was managed out of PCL’s Denver office, but gave the company a foothold in Arizona. A year later, the Louisville Galleria took PCL into the heart of Kentucky. By 1983, Oxford had launched the development of the landmark Citicorp Plaza in Los Angeles, signaling PCL's entry into southern California.
The partnership with Oxford is one of PCL’s greatest success stories. The history, the lessons learned, the growth, and the relationship forged over four decades remain a model for the way PCL does business today.