One of the most iconic buildings along Calgary’s Stephen Avenue Walk is set to undergo a massive restoration.

The Bank of Montreal Building, located at 140 8th Ave. S.W. has been empty since the building’s last tenant, A&B Sound, vacated the building more than a decade ago.

Now owned by Steiner Properties, the building was constructed in 1931 at a cost of $741,000. Previously closed in 1988, it underwent a $2-million renovation before re-opening in 1993.

The latest restoration will include close to 25,000 sq. ft. of office space on the upper floors, retail space on the main floor, a rooftop patio for tenants, with showers, lockers and bike storage available for use on the lower level of the building.

Clad in limestone with pillars capped in Corinthian capitals, the 36,000 sq. ft. building is expected to be ready for tenants in early 2013.

According to a report from Cushman & Wakefield, the vacancy rate in Calgary’s downtown dropped to 3.1 per cent in the second quarter from 3.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year, with downtown Class A space nearly non-existent with vacancy at just one per cent.