Tuesday September 14, 2021 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated September 15, 2021]
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
Alongside the active construction site of the future Plexxis Software headquarters in the commercial centre of Westhills within Langford, last Friday there was a brief but enthusiastic celebration over how that Ontario-based company has ended up relocating out to the west coast.
“It’s for the lifestyle,” said Chris Loranger, CEO, Plexxis Software, who is clearly excited about the many sport events and recreational activities that happen around Langford, as well as the nearby Langford Lake, shops and dining.
Jobs & happy employees:
One-solution construction management software is the Plexxis stock and trade, but building and maintaining a productive and happy team of people is a key factor within that.
Taking to the outdoor podium at the September 10 media event — after speeches by Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation Minister Ravi Kahlon and Langford Mayor Stew Young — Loranger was a beaming live promo for the many positive lifestyle aspects of living in Langford.
It’s one thing for a city to be recognized by magazines as a top place to live in Canada, it’s another for as many as 100 people to relocate their families to a brand new world, half a country away.
But Loranger — who joyously waxxed on about the many sport, outdoor lifestyle and commercial amenities in Langford, says it didn’t take much convincing. Many in his company team were evidently readily keen to undertake packing up and relocating to the west shore of Vancouver Island, undertaking a life-changing experience for the shorter commutes, the fresh air, and being close enough to co-workers and neighbours to make it feel more like their own community.
Just one clue as to the different pulse of Plexxis as an employer is how ‘transitional’ houses were purchased in Westhills where employees can land as they begin house-hunting for their perfect pick.
The Westhills welcome:
Also speaking at the podium under Friday’s sunny skies was Westhills Land Corp Manager Ryan McKenzie, who of course welcomed the new tech company to his neck of the woods where Plexxis bought the land at 1331 Westhills Drive. That’s next door to the YM-YWCA and across the street from the building on Lakepoint Road that already leases out offices to the BC government above which are condo units which face the Heritage Library Branch and Victoria Conservatory of Music.
Plexxis is the first large tech company to set up shop in Langford, nestled into that hub of sports, arts and business.
The project to construct the 80,000 sq ft building entails a $44 million build-out of modern flexible work spaces and lifestyle amenities. The lease space will be 50,000 sq ft including two ground-floor units targeting restaurant use.
Hundreds of local construction jobs are expected to be generated by the project, which is the next major jumping off point for the expanded Westhills commercial district known as Lakepoint (comprised of 32 acres of mixed used residential and commercial lease opportunities).
The Plexxis Tower will occupy the Plexxis team on the entire fourth and fifth floors of the building, while leasing opportunities are available on other floors (being managed by CBRE Victoria, with Ross Marshall and James Murray as contacts).
The new building is targeted to open just a year from now, in August 2022.
The Langford vision:
Attracting tech companies to Langford has been a component of Mayor Young’s vision for enhancing the economic strength of the city that in recent years has surpassed a population of 40,000.
About 2,000 people move to Langford every year now for its relative housing affordability. That fuels the well-being of many local businesses, sets the construction trades hopping, and keeps the local school district (SD62) very much on its toes as it builds new schools as fast as it possibly can. Two new schools will open on Constellation Avenue in Westhills in September 2022.
“For many years, Council has focused on attracting tech companies,” said Stew Young, keeping his eye on building a profile of talent and growth in the community while creating quality jobs.
Jobs minister on board:
Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation Minister Ravi Kahlon is of course pleased at the job creation, but additionally that it’s a boost to the tech industry profile on Vancouver Island and particularly on the west shore outside the core Victoria/Saanich office hub.
“British Columbia offers many advantages to growing technology companies and start-ups. We invite entrepreneurs and innovators to be part of our sustainable and inclusive economic future,” Kahlon said.
Premier welcomes Plexxis:
In a written statement, Premier John Horgan (who is the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca) said “more and more tech companies are discovering the benefits of being located in British Columbia, a global crossroads”. He welcomes Plexxis to Langford and the growing west shore community.
“The future is going to be exciting and we’re going to be developing it right here as we build a stronger BC,” the premier said.
The day’s event was moderated by Langford CAO Darren Kiedyk. Also in attendance were Jim Hartshorne and Dale Gann of the West Shore Developers Association, and Ravi Parmar, Chair of the SD62 School District. Other Langford City Councillors in attendance were Denise Blackwell, Matt Sahlstrom and Lillian Szpak.
Plexxis serves subcontractors who seek elite team cohesion and performance. Coupling cloud construction management software, on-premise and hosted solutions, we unite operations, estimating, accounting and field apps on a single technology stack that enables live feedback between bidding, field and finance while in-house services drive continuous adoption.
Langford during COVID:
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Langford has continued its work to spur investment and new development in Langford’s core commercial areas. Investments in Langford such as the Plexxis project will provide high-value job opportunities, unlock economic potential, and reinforce Langford’s unique position as one of the fastest growing and best communities to live in Canada.
===== About Island Social Trends:
The online Island Social Trends daily news portal emerged in 2020 from its original roots as MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2010-2013) and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020). Published by Brookeline Publishing House Inc, the publication relocated operations to Langford in 2017; the evolving publication continues to enmesh the growth-story of Langford into its pages.
Founding editor and publisher Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Cert PR, brings a socioeconomic view to all articles posted within islandsocialtrends.ca . Contributing writers include Jalen Codrington and Molly Pearce. Opinion-editorial pieces, advertisers and subscribers are welcome.