Concert acquires three-building industrial portfolio
Concert’s CREC Commercial Fund LP Monday announced the acquisition of a fully leased industrial portfolio comprising three buildings in Richmond, B.C., Calgary and Vaughan. “This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for the fund to expand its foothold in three core Canadian industrial markets through the addition of a single-tenant portfolio,” says Brian McCauley, Concert’s president & chief executive officer.
BMO confirms it will anchor 50-storey Chicago office tower
BMO Financial Group (BMO-T) has confirmed plans to anchor a new 50-storey office tower adjacent to Union Station, in a deal that will consolidate 3,600 downtown employees into a single building. The bank will lease 500,000 square feet of the 700-foot-tall building, which will be called BMO Tower, when it opens in 2022, the bank said Monday.
Aspen Properties buys Sun Life Plaza in Calgary
Calgary-based Aspen Properties has acquired the Sun Life Plaza, a three-tower office complex of just over one million square feet, in Calgary’s downtown core, RENX has learned. The three identical towers of 28 storeys each, built in 1981, 1982 and 1984, were purchased by Aspen from Choice Properties REIT (CHP-UN-T) and Sun Life (SLF-T) for $225 million and the skyscrapers are set to undergo significant upgrades and renovations with construction expected to start Q2 2019.
CAPREIT, ECREIT create European-focused, multi-res REIT
Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (CAR-UN-T) and European Commercial REIT (ERE-UN-X) announced Tuesday ECREIT will acquire 41 multi-residential properties in Netherlands from CAPREIT. The transaction will change ECREIT’s ownership structure, leaving CAPREIT as the majority shareholder and creating Canada’s first European-focused, multi-residential REIT.
Christmas shopping focuses attention on warehousing
The shopping dynamics of Canadians is clearly having an impact on the property market, said Chris Wood, an executive vice-president with commercial property brokerage JLL in Vancouver. “As (retailers) expand their online presence, whether you’re a well-known traditional retailer in this country like Costco or Canadian Tire or Walmart, or a new online entrant, someone like Amazon, you are going to need more warehouse space and fulfillment,” he said.
CIBC Square, The Well to feature Captivate digital video content
Captivate, which provides digital video screens and content to office buildings in six Canadian cities, has signed on two large Toronto properties now under construction: CIBC Square and The Well. CIBC Square is a class-AAA office tower complex being developed by Ivanhoé Cambridge and Hines which will house the global headquarters for CIBC and AGF, as well as the Canadian headquarters for Microsoft and Boston Consulting Group.
Minto buys Calgary apartments; redevelops in Ottawa
Ottawa-based Minto Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust (MI-UN-T) is employing a double-edged strategy to grow the REIT, purchasing two existing buildings in Calgary and financing a redevelopment in Ottawa – with an eye to purchasing the site in the future. The REIT paid $63.8 million to acquire The Quarters, a two-building, 199-suite property in Quarry Park, located in southeast Calgary.
Fortress’ former Winnipeg site on the market
The former St. Regis Hotel is back on the market after Winnipeg’s downtown-development agency reclaimed the property from an embattled Toronto-area developer. CentreVenture reclaimed the title of the vacant Smith Street hotel in September, after Fortress Real Developments of Richmond Hill, failed to follow through on a plan to build a parkade and commercial complex on the site.
Gig economy could spawn Vancouver ‘micro-lease’ office
A Hong Kong-based startup that matches tenants in the “gig” economy with short-term office space is eyeing opportunities in Vancouver’s tight office market. David Wong, who was born in Alberta and grew up in Vancouver, is the co-founder and CEO of Booqed. He participated in Colliers International’s December Techstars accelerator program in Toronto, which focuses on ways to merge technology and real estate.
Developers eager to get on board new transit lines
“If you build it, they will come.” Those may be inspirational words, but for commercial developers in Canada who hope to build near transit lines, they can be frustrating. Build what? When? Where? It can be lucrative and good city planning to construct commercial projects with access to new transit, but transit takes years of planning and many cities have trouble making decisions about where to run their lines.
Last hurrah for the King of Crescent St.
They called him the King of Crescent St., a reference to his transforming the once-nondescript street into one of the city’s most vibrant spots. But truth be told: John Vago was responsible for creating much of Montreal’s downtown club scene. And that’s only a small part of the story of Vago, who died recently, just shy of his 95th birthday.
Notley looks to build new refinery in Alberta
Alberta is searching for a company willing to build a new oil refinery in the energy-rich province as a way of squeezing more money out of persistently low Canadian oil prices. Energy companies in Alberta are interested in building new refineries, according to Premier Rachel Notley, who told reporters Tuesday in Edmonton no provincial money has yet to be allocated for the project.
CBRE CEO breaks down commercial real estate market
CPPIB earns $250M from Faery Estates sale
SPREP Pte. Ltd. announced Tuesday it has completed the sale of Faery Estates Private Limited in Chennai, India. SPREP was formed to acquire stabilized office buildings in November 2013, and acquired shares of Faery Estates in June 2015 with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) being its majority investor. Net proceeds to CPPIB from the sale were approximately $250 million.
Allianz JV buys Boston office tower for $845M
Allianz’s U.S. expansion plan continues with the acquisition of 53 State Street, a 1.2 million-square-foot office property in downtown Boston. In a partnership with Beacon Capital Partners and the Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, the Munich-based investment and asset manager acquired the premier property from UBS Asset Management for $845 million. Allianz walked away from the transaction with a 49 per cent stake in the asset.
Toronto leased CRE space down 23.9% year-over-year
Toronto Real Estate Board Commercial Network Members reported 1,782,401 square feet of total leased space across the industrial, commercial/retail and office market segments in November. This result represented a 23.9 per cent year-over-year decline, Almost two-thirds of space leased through TREB’s MLS System was accounted for by the industrial market segment in November 2018.
Is self-storage recession-resistant?
Self-storage is considered to be the booming sector of commercial real estate. However, on a national level in the U.S., street-rate rents have gradually dropped as new projects kept coming online. Despite its challenges, the self-storage business is unlikely to face a recession, said Brian Somoza, managing director at JLL Capital Markets, National Self Storage Investment Sales.
Hong Kong’s office competitiveness under threat
Hong Kong faces a host of issues in the property sector. While the residential supply constraints grab the headlines, there is also an acute shortage of grade A office space in the world’s most expensive market. To make matters worse, the total land supply presently set aside by the government for future development is forecast to run out within 10 years.
Developer buys CBS Television City for $750M
CBS Corp. (CBS-N) said late Monday it has agreed to sell its 25-acre production studio complex CBS Television City and sound stage operation to Los Angeles real estate developer Hackman Capital Partners for $750 million. CBS is to retain office space for CBS Studios International’s U.S. headquarters and other company departments currently on site.
U of C will take over main floor of old central library
The University of Calgary is moving into the old central library location, at least for a while. The faculty of environmental design will operate a teaching lab on the main floor of the building and use it as an events space. It will lease the space for five years from the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, starting in January.
Staples Canada launches first new concept store
Known for decades as an office supplies warehouse, Staples Canada is now the Working and Learning Company and has launched its first new concept store in Kirkland, Que. Leading the way in working and learning, the company will introduce a second new concept location in downtown Toronto in January that will offer a co-working space, called Staples Studio.
Loblaw completes issuance of $800M of senior unsecured notes
Loblaw Companies Limited (L-T) announced it has completed its previously announced issuance, on a private placement basis to qualified accredited investors in each of the provinces of Canada, of $800 million aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes of the company in two series.
Ex-Loblaw COO takes reins of Harvest One Cannabis
It didn’t take long for Grant Froese to get bored. After spending 38 years with grocery titan Loblaw Cos. in Ontario—most recently serving as COO — he lasted just over a year in retirement before jumping back into the saddle as CEO of a B.C. company this summer. Harvest One Cannabis, based in Vancouver, employs about 60 people and consists of three entities.
Toronto demands more control over location of future shops
Mayor John Tory wants pot shops in Toronto, but he’s demanding the city get more say on where they can open. Tory issued a news release Monday calling on the provincial government to give municipalities more power over where cannabis stores can open. Other municipalities, including several in the 905, are planning to ban storefronts outright.
Mayor wants to withdraw support for Victoria casino
Victoria should withdraw its support for a downtown casino, given recent revelations about money laundering in the B.C. gaming industry and possible gang links to fentanyl trafficking, says Mayor Lisa Helps. In a motion going to councillors Thursday, Helps is recommending the city write to B.C. Lottery Corp. indicating it is no longer interested in hosting a casino.
Hydro One, Avista seek reversal of merger decision
Hydro One Limited (H-T) and Avista Corporation (AVA-N) will file a petition no later than Dec. 17 with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) requesting the UTC to reconsider its Dec. 5, 2018 order denying approval of Hydro One’s acquisition of Avista. Under Washington law, the UTC has 20 days from the date of filing to act on the petition.
TransLink: Langley line can’t be built with existing budget
The Vancouver region’s transit authority says the Surrey mayor’s proposed extension to the elevated SkyTrain network won’t get more than the $1.6 billion already set aside for a now-cancelled light-rail project – and that won’t be enough to reach the centre of nearby Langley. TransLink has told the region’s mayors it could build the SkyTrain extension by 2025.