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LaSalle acquires 50% of Maison Manuvie, Guildford mall and land

The LaSalle Canada Property Fund has acquired 50 per cent interests in three major properties fro...

IMAGE: The Maison Manuvie in Montreal.

The Maison Manuvie office tower in Montreal.

The LaSalle Canada Property Fund has acquired 50 per cent interests in three major properties from Ivanhoé Cambridge – Maison Manuvie office tower in Montreal, Guildford Town Centre shopping mall in the Greater Vancouver city of Surrey and the adjacent 18-acre Guildford Town Centre development.

Financial details of the transactions were not immediately disclosed.

“The addition of Maison Manuvie and Guildford Town Centre, along with the opportunity to develop mixed-use assets in a prime location in the Vancouver area, represents an outstanding opportunity for us to strategically use our retail weighting while also gaining exposure to Canada’s second-largest market in Montreal via the city’s marquee office asset,” said John McKinlay, CEO of LaSalle Canada, in the announcement Tuesday.

“Additionally, it is rare to find an economically viable development site with residential densification potential in Vancouver, where residential fundamentals are extremely favourable for newly built units.

“We have long sought to enter these markets and are excited to do so along with exceptional partners in Ivanhoé Cambridge and Manulife.”

Maison Manuvie, the Guildford properties

The transactions comprise:

– A 50 per cent stake in Maison Manuvie at 900 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O in Montreal, a 485,000-square-foot office asset. Manulife, whose Quebec headquarters are in the office tower, will be LaSalle’s 50 per cent partner in the property;

– 50 per cent ownership of Guildford Town Centre, a top-performing super-regional mall in Surrey. Ivanhoé Cambridge will remain a partner in the property;

– 50 per cent ownership of the 18-acre development site directly north of Guildford Town Centre. Ivanhoé Cambridge will also remain a partner in the parcel.

The acquisition increases LCPF’s office and retail allocations to 42 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively, of its approximately $1.8 billion portfolio and reinforces its investment thesis of adding core, “best-in-class” assets with long-term tenancy and established NOI.

“There continues to be value available in office and retail assets, especially those in irreplaceable locations and with strong tenant demand,” said Stephen Robertson, head of Canada acquisitions for LaSalle, in the announcement.

“Both Maison Manuvie and Guildford Town Centre are premier properties in their respective asset classes in Canada and position LaSalle and LCPF well as fundamentals for office and retail continue to improve.”

Located in Montreal’s financial district, Maison Manuvie is 97 per cent leased with a 13.7-year average weighted lease term. It provides tenants direct access to amenities and underground connections to both the McGill and Peel subway stations.

The property also boasts impressive sustainability credentials, including: LEED Gold CS and ENERGY STAR certifications, Building Energy Challenge’s Improved Energy Performance Award, and 2019 BOMA BEST certification making it the only building in the Greater Montreal Area that has been awarded the Platinum level.

Guildford Town Centre is 95.5 per cent leased and recently attracted new-to-market tenants Uniqlo and Muji. The centre underwent $280 million in capital improvements through 2013 and is LEED Gold certified.

The development parcel, north of the mall, is being zoned for additional residential density, and could allow LCPF to develop a significant multifamily property.

Surrey is a target market for multifamily development as it is forecast to outpace the population of the City of Vancouver itself within the next 15 years. It also has limited supply of new multifamily product.

About LaSalle in Canada

LaSalle has executed more than $7 billion in Canadian real estate since 2000, providing it with an in-depth understanding of the market. The formation of LCPF expanded LaSalle’s existing Canadian real estate product suite and investment vehicles, which include a series of closed-end commingled funds as well as separate accounts.

LCPF is an open-ended fund targeting core properties in major markets across Canada. The fund is targeting commitments from Canadian and global institutional investors seeking access to the Canadian real estate market through a diversified, income-oriented vehicle.

Launched in 2017, it is building a portfolio of office, industrial, mixed-use, retail and multifamily assets.

About Ivanhoé Cambridge

Ivanhoé Cambridge develops and invests in real estate properties, projects and companies in cities around the world. Through subsidiaries and partnerships, the company holds interests in over 1,100 buildings, primarily in the industrial and logistics, office, residential and retail sectors.

Ivanhoé Cambridge held $60,4 billion in real estate assets as of Dec. 31, 2020, and is a real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, a global investment group.

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