Lachance, Fonds FTQ buy Montreal Nun’s Island office tower

IMAGE: 16 Place du Commerce, on Nun's Island in Montreal. (Google Street View)

16 Place du Commerce, on Nun’s Island in Montreal. (Google Street View)

Lachance Immobilier and the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ have partnered to acquire a vacant 164,774-square-foot class-A office building at 16 Place du Commerce on Montreal’s L’Île-des-Sœurs (Nun’s Island).

The two partners did not release financial details, but indicated they intend to redevelop the property. The tower is located just a few hundred metres from the site of a future REM station.

“I’m very happy about this partnership and this acquisition, which will consolidate our assets on the north part of L’Île-des-Sœurs and facilitate the implementation of an integrated development project in the area,” said Claude Lachance, president of Lachance Immobilier, in a release.

In the same release, Normand Bélanger, president and CEO of the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ, said: “We’re proud to join forces with a new partner with whom we will help drive the Montréal’s development. Today’s announcement is a first milestone towards the design of a project centred on public transit.”

Financial details of the transaction were not released, although Lachance and the Fonds FTQ did say they are equal partners in the venture.

16 Place du Commerce

The 16 Place du Commerce property has had an up-and-down history, hosting two major tenants during its 28-year history and being sold multiple times.

The building’s history stretches back to 1992, when it was constructed by Canderel and initially tenanted by Bell Northern Research.

When that company ended its lease in 2002, then-mortgage holder Standard Life (now Manulife) took over the property, according to published reports.

A year later, it leased the building to Yellow Pages, and then sold the property to a German-based owner.

With Yellow Pages ending its lease in 2017, the building was again sold, this time to Groupe Mach for a reported $16.5 million, well below its city-assessed value of over $32 million.

A listing in January 2019 indicated the property remained empty at that time.

In recent years, Nun’s Island has been at or near the top of the list for growth in the Greater Montreal Area.

The 16 du Commerce property faces Highway 15 and the Champlain Bridge and has already has good public transit access to the city centre.

The addition of the REM station will improve its transit access.

The building has floor plates of 16,477 square feet and 350 parking spots among its current features.

About Lachance, Fonds FTQ

Headed by Claude Lachance, Lachance Immobilier is a private management company founded in 1983 that specializes in the design and development of quality urban residential projects in Greater Montréal.

Created in 1991, the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ invests in real estate projects in partnership with other industry leaders across Québec, backing residential, office, commercial, institutional and industrial projects.

As of Dec. 31, 2019, Fonds immobilier had 56 projects worth $3.6 billion in progress, 74 properties under management, 1.3 million square feet of land for development and $90 million allocated to affordable, social and community housing.

The Fonds immobilier is a member of Québec-Green Building Council.

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