Cushman & Wakefield, the world’s largest privately held commercial real estate services firm, received two of the most coveted honours at this year’s NAIOP Real Estate Excellence Awards gala.
NAOIP, the commercial real estate development association’s Toronto Chapter, presented teams from Cushman &Wakefield with the Office Lease of the Year award for the EY Tower and the Industrial Lease of the Year award for the Unilever Distribution Centre. Through the April 9 awards, peers recognized the teams responsible for the GTA’s most complex transactions and consider criteria focused on results, including quality; skills, including collaboration and innovation; and values including environmental awareness.
Office Lease of the Year
A 255,000-square-foot lease to Ernst and Young (EY), negotiated by the Cushman & Wakefield team, enabled Oxford Properties to develop the “EY-branded tower at the Richmond Adelaide Centre” according to the news release. “The challenge of co-ordinating the consolidation of EY offices, timing with the project completion, along with designing a workplace that met EY requirements, required a collaborative effort among team members Cushman & Wakefield, EY Canada, Oxford Properties, and Miller Thompson LLP.”
With vacancies for class-A office property in the downtown tight, new office construction is crucial. The construction of a 40-storey, state-of-the-art office building to replace and incorporate the historic 1928 Concourse Building naturally garnered media attention.
The 900,000-square-foot tower includes large floor plates of between 28,000 and 23,500 sq. ft., optimized for open workspaces, 9 ft. 6 in. ceilings with floor to ceiling windows, and a 5,000-sq.-ft. outdoor terrace. Designed by architects Kohn Pederson and Fox and WZMH, the building is targeted to achieve LEED Platinum status.
Unique aspects include on-demand fresh air, electric car parking and bicycle storage. The EY Tower also introduces the concept of a “Green Lease” stipulating how tenants manage, occupy and operate the building.
The EY Tower at 100 Adelaide St. W. is part of cluster of buildings with more than 2.4 million sq. ft. of office space that make up an entire block called the Richmond-Adelaide Centre. The building is connected to the city’s PATH system, an underground walkway linking 30 kilometres of shopping, services and entertainment.
Services located on the site and the PATH will provide EY Tower occupants access to 40 on-site shops through an 18-km retail concourse, one acre of public space, 10 fitness clubs within three blocks, entertainment and dining.
“We’re very proud to have played a front-and-centre role in helping a global leader such as EY transform their workplace, which triggered the development of Oxford’s beautiful . . . office tower in the financial core. It was a game-changing transaction for everyone involved and will add immensely to the quality of life in our city,” said Michael Caplice, senior managing director of office leasing at Cushman & Wakefield Canada.
Industrial Lease of the Year
The Industrial Lease of the Year award went to the Cushman and Wakefield team for Unilever Canada’s location at 7900 Airport Rd., in Brampton, the largest GTA design-build lease project since 2007. The news release says, “thanks to the collaborative team effort, innovative deal structure and leading edge design this 744,922-sq.-ft. long-term lease on 34.62 acres set a new level of excellence for development.”
Unilever, one of the world’s largest producers of packaged consumer goods, wanted to consolidate its GTA distribution operations. The company selected Giffels Westpro to provide a design-build, guaranteed maximum price delivery.
The new facility includes 526,000 sq. ft. for dry goods space, 82,000 sq. ft. of refrigerated space, a 120,000-sq.-ft. co-pack area, a 10,000-sq.- ft. office area, and a 6,000-sq.-ft. maintenance area.
Collaborating with H&R REIT, Canadian Commercial Capital, Giffels WestPro, and Cushman & Wakefield cross services including Toronto brokerage, the CIS group and Project Management Services, Unilever achieved what Mark Stainer, senior managing director, national practice leader, industrial, Cushman & Wakefield Canada called a rare blockbuster transaction.
“Unilever Canada is noteworthy for its sheer size, but what really set it apart were three key factors: the collaborative effort involving five different parties, its sophisticated and innovative deal structure, and the leading-edge design that made it a world-class distribution centre,” he said.
“The collaboration among the team members paved the way for a faster project, cost savings and implementation of design criteria. It’s such a successful project it may well set a new standard for large-scale industrial lease construction projects.”
Set on 70 acres just a kilometre from a full highway 407 interchange and five kilometres from Pearson International Airport and CN Rail’s Intermodal Yard, the site features 1.45 million sq. ft. of total site build-out space for large format warehouse and distribution centres through large and small land parcels.
Cushman & Wakefield, founded in 1917, has approximately 250 offices in 60 countries and employs more than 16,000 professionals. The firm has nearly $4 billion in assets under management globally and is a recognized leader in local and global real estate research.