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Starlight, AIMCo buy downtown Vancouver office tower

An 18-storey class-A office building at 1138 Melville St. in Vancouver has been sold to a joint v...

IMAGE: 1138 Melville Street in downtown Vancouver (Courtesy Starlight Investments)

1138 Melville St. in downtown Vancouver (Courtesy Starlight Investments)

An 18-storey class-A office building at 1138 Melville St. in Vancouver has been sold to a joint venture involving Starlight Investments and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo).

The 156,000-square-foot tower is fully leased to a federal government department, with 7.2 years remaining on the lease.

Financial details were not released.

“We are pleased to add this prominent downtown property to our portfolio,” said Leslie Veiner, Starlight’s chief executive officer, Canadian commercial, in the announcement Tuesday. “This strategic transaction further strengthens and diversifies our portfolio, while enhancing our presence in British Columbia’s growing market.”

The vendor was the Quebec Hydro pension plan.

About 1138 Melville

The building is situated in downtown Vancouver’s primary business district. The glass facade allows ample natural lighting into the interior.

The property also has 180 parking stalls on four underground parking levels.

“This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for AIMCo’s clients to acquire a transit-oriented, class-A building in Vancouver’s Central Business District, one of the strongest property markets in North America,” said Tony Vadacchino, AIMCo’s vice-president, real estate, in the announcement.

1138 Melville is BOMA BEST Silver certified and has received the federal government’s Energy Efficiency Design Award. It was also nominated for an Urban Development Institute Award in 2001.

Surrounding the property are a series of parks and neighbourhoods including Stanley Park, the West End, Coal Harbour, Yaletown and Gastown.

Major arterials for the downtown district include: Burrard Street, Hastings Street West and Georgia Street West.

The property also benefits from offering a point of entry to the North Shore from the Lions Gate Bridge through the Stanley Park Causeway, and is steps from the Sky Train, Sea Bus and other public transit.

There have been a couple of other significant office transactions in Vancouver so far during 2021, including 888 Dunsmuir and 625 Howe streets. Manulife sold its portion of the 255,000-square-foot properties to Sunnyland Group for an undisclosed price, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield’s Q2 Vancouver office report.

Among the other larger transactions was the $103-million sale of the 120,000-square-foot MEC headquarters at 1077 Great Northern Way, acquired this spring by PCI Developments and Low Tide Properties.

The 75,000-square-foot 815 Hornby Street was sold by Golden Crown Land And Investment (Van.) Canada Inc. to Reliance Properties Ltd. for $93 million, also according to the C&W report.

As the sector slowly begins to recover from the effects of the pandemic, a shakeout is looming with about 3.5 million square feet of office product under construction in the downtown and set to deliver during the next couple of years.

About Starlight and AIMCo

Starlight Investments is a privately held Toronto-based, full service, multifamily and commercial real estate investment and asset management company. It manages over $20 billion of direct real estate as well as real estate investment securities.

Investment vehicles include institutional joint ventures, True North Commercial REIT, Starlight U.S. Multi-Family Funds, the Northview Canadian High Yield Fund and Starlight Capital Funds.

Starlight Investments’ portfolio consists of approximately 70,000 multi-residential units across Canada and the U.S. and over eight million square feet of commercial properties.

AIMCo is one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment managers with more than $120 billion of assets under management. AIMCo invests globally on behalf of 32 pension, endowment and government funds in the Province of Alberta.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was updated after being published to remove erroneous information about the vendor. RENX apologizes for the error. Additional information about Vancouver office sales during 2021 was also added.

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