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Allied, RioCan announce two major office tenants at The Well

Allied Properties REIT (AP-UN-T) and RioCan REIT (REI-UN-T) have announced two major office tenan...

Allied Properties REIT (AP-UN-T) and RioCan REIT (REI-UN-T) have announced two major office tenants at The Well in downtown Toronto, including global advertising marketplace firm Index Exchange.

Image: The Well in Toronto, being developed by RioCan and Allied REITs.

The Well in Toronto, being developed by RioCan and Allied Properties REITs. (Rendering courtesy The Well Toronto)

The two leases comprise about 30 per cent of the million square feet of office space in the multi-building, mixed-use development at Spadina Avenue and Front Street West, which also includes residential and retail space. Index Exchange has committed to 200,000 square feet in The Well Tower at 8 Spadina, while a second as-yet-unnamed tenant will lease 125,000 square feet at 460 Front Street West, a separate office component which is also part of The Well.

Allied and RioCan are also finalizing transactions with two other office users for 533,752 square feet at The Well Tower, which would bring the leased area of the office component to 80 per cent.

“The significant momentum of our office leasing is a recognition of the unique attributes of The Well,” said Ed Sonshine, CEO of RioCan in a release announcing the leasings. “RioCan and Allied have created a true mixed-use community in the heart of downtown Toronto.

“The Well will represent a vibrant community where both the office users and residents will benefit from a singular and dynamic retail experience drawing the look and feel of King Street West into an open-air environment.

“Its centrepiece will be a 90,000-square-foot food market that will serve as a hub not only for The Well, but the greater downtown Toronto community.” 

The Well development

Allied and RioCan each own an undivided 50 per cent interest in the commercial component of The Well. On completion, this will be comprised of:

– approximately 1,067,000 square feet of office space;
– approximately 425,000 square feet of retail space;
– approximately 700 underground commercial parking spaces;
– significant third-party digital signage on the northwest corner of Front and Spadina;
– an energy-storage facility necessary to extend Enwave’s heating and cooling network to Toronto’s Downtown West.

Allied and RioCan are jointly developing the commercial component of The Well. On completion, Allied will manage the office component, and RioCan will manage the retail component.

The Well will also include approximately 1.46 million square feet of residential space across six buildings, comprising about 1,800 rental and condominium units. RioCan intends to maintain a 50 per cent ownership interest in the largest residential tower of the development, consisting of 590 purpose-built residential rental units.

On the construction front, underground excavation for The Well Tower is complete and below-grade construction has commenced. Construction of The Well Tower and the remainder of the commercial component above grade is now expected to continue without interruption, the trusts say.

The Well Tower is targeting a LEED Platinum certification, as is the remainder of the office space at The Well. 

Construction of the commercial component of The Well is scheduled for completion in late 2021 with occupancy in 2022.

“We’re delighted that Index Exchange has selected The Well Tower as the location for its global headquarters,” said Michael Emory, president and CEO of Allied, in the release.

“As at King Portland Centre, a joint intensification project between Allied and RioCan that is now fully leased and nearing completion, the workspace at The Well will be built and operated with a view to sustaining the environment and fostering human wellness, diversity and creativity in an evolving global city.”

Index Exchange

Index Exchange’s lease is for a term of 12 years commencing in 2022. Index Exchange is a marketplace where digital media companies sell their ad impressions in real time. The company was founded in 2001 and is financed internally.

“Although we’ve grown globally at a rapid pace over the last few years, our commitment to Toronto has never wavered,” said Andrew Casale, president and CEO of Index Exchange. “Our new downtown headquarters demonstrates our growing investment in technology and engineering talent in and across the Toronto area, and we’re confident this new development will be a benefit to the city at large.”

The other office user agreed to a term of 15 years commencing in 2022. These premises will form a separate and distinct office component of The Well with a dedicated entrance off Front Street West.

About Allied

Allied is a leading owner, manager and developer of distinctive urban workspace in Canada’s major cities. Its objectives are to provide stable and growing cash distributions to unitholders and to maximize unitholder value through effective management and accretive portfolio growth.

About RioCan

RioCan is one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts with a total enterprise value of approximately $13.7 billion as of March 31, 2018. RioCan owns, manages and develops retail-focused, increasingly mixed-use properties located in prime, high-density transit-oriented areas.

The portfolio is comprised of 284 properties, including 17 development properties, with an aggregate net leasable area of approximately 43 million square feet.

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