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BentallGreenOak buys Montreal apartment complex

BentallGreenOak has enhanced its position in Montreal through the acquisition of Appartements-Bou...

IMAGE: BentallGreenOak has acquired the Montreal Appartements-Boutique, on behalf of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. (Courtesy BentallGreenOak)

BentallGreenOak has acquired the Montreal Appartements-Boutique from its developer Prevel, on behalf of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. (Courtesy BentallGreenOak)

BentallGreenOak has enhanced its position in Montreal through the acquisition of Appartements-Boutique on behalf of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.

The purpose-built rental apartment complex at 681-733 William St. includes 243 residential units across two buildings along with 10,714 square feet of ground-level retail and 10,964 square feet of ground- and second-level office space occupied by a mix of local food service and business tenants.

“The complex is a newly constructed property with the high-end design and amenities typically found in a boutique hotel,” BentallGreenOak co-head of Canadian investments Michael Fraidakis told RENX.

“The building’s prime location in downtown Montreal is close to mass transit and within a short walking distance of the vibrant neighbourhoods of Griffintown and Old Montreal, which have a wide variety of residential buildings, retail shops, restaurants, bars and cafes.”

Appartements-Boutique’s amenities include conference rooms, fitness areas, rooftop patios and pools.

Appartements-Boutique was developed and sold by Le Groupe Prevel for an undisclosed price. The first phase was built in 2016 and the second followed last year.

BentallGreenOak invests in Montreal 

Montreal is enjoying a period of rapid economic growth and institutional capital is pouring into the city’s real estate market as a result.

“Montreal’s economy has been one of the fastest-growing in the country, with real GDP growth registering 3.6 per cent in 2018, the second consecutive year of growth above three per cent,” said Fraidakis. “We expect economic fundamentals to remain vibrant, driven by a thriving tech sector and strong immigration.”

BentallGreenOak has a particular interest in high-quality buildings connected to major public transportation corridors.

It acquired 1250 René-Lévesque, a 47-storey, class-AAA office tower with 1,036,193 square feet of space, from Oxford Properties Group and PSP Investments in May. It was the largest single-asset transaction BentallGreenOak has made in Canada to date.

Fraidakis said there’s good office leasing momentum in downtown Montreal and occupancy of 1250 René-Lévesque is approximately 93 per cent.

The Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed, LEED Gold-certified structure was completed in 1992 and was originally known as the IBM-Marathon Tower. It has 900 underground parking stalls.

BentallGreenOak acquired office buildings at 7250 Mile End and 7450 Mile End on behalf of Sun Life Financial from Mile-End Investments Inc. last year.

The former is eight storeys, 318,211 square feet and certified LEED Silver. It was built in 1973, renovated in 2014, and has 28,691 square feet of space available. The latter is a two-storey building with approximately 80,000 square feet of space. A vacant property sits between them.

Industrial project fully leased

“We’re optimistic on the future outlook for the city and evaluate acquisitions on a case-by-case basis,” said Fraidakis.

BentallGreenOak also completed a 216,000-square-foot industrial spec development at 4305 Griffith in Montreal’s Cote-de-Liesse industrial node last year. It’s completely leased.

BentallGreenOak is a global real estate investment management adviser and provider of real estate services with offices in 22 cities across 10 countries. It’s part of SLC Management, the institutional alternatives and traditional asset management business of Sun Life.

It has more than 750 institutional clients and had approximately $48 billion US of assets under management on June 30.

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