On September 1, 2016, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) completed the acquisition of a 50-per-cent interest in a portfolio of high-quality office properties in downtown Toronto and Calgary from Oxford Properties Group (Oxford), the real estate arm of OMERS, at a gross purchase price of $1.175 billion. Oxford will continue to manage the properties on behalf of the partnership.
The 4.2-million square foot portfolio includes seven office buildings with a broad mix of tenants in financial services, technology, accounting, legal and commodities businesses. In Toronto, the Richmond-Adelaide Centre is a high-quality office complex that includes five buildings located in the city’s financial district, totalling 2.4 million square feet and covering almost all of a 4.5-acre city block. In Calgary, Centennial Place and Eau Claire Tower are two Class AA office towers developed by Oxford in the northern part of the downtown core, totalling 1.8 million square feet. The buildings achieved a tenant satisfaction score of 94 per cent – a full 18 per cent greater than the industry average – and offer a variety of industry-leading sustainability features.
CPPIB was represented by Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, with a team that included Gregory Howard, Donald Stanbury, Steven Martin, Frank Arnone, Pawel Mielcarek and Samantha Henein (real estate), Sarah Powell (environmental), Ian Crosbie (tax) and Mark Katz (competition), with assistance from Benoit Archambault in Davies’ Montréal office, and Stephen Raby and Riley Whitlock of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP in Calgary. Davies also acted for CPPIB in connection with the assumption of mortgage financing at Centennial Place and financing related to the Richmond-Adelaide Centre, with a team including Derek Vesey and Devon Comstock.
Oxford was represented by a team of in-house counsel led by Gawain Smart and including Nancy Prenevost, Juliana Abdo, Ilana Cohen, Cory Estrela and Judith George. Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP acted as external transaction counsel, with a team that included Chris Huband, Daniel Kofman and Jason Kolarich (Toronto real estate), Debbie Salzberger (competition), and Garth Anderson and Jay Geers (Calgary real estate). Jerald Wortsman and Andrew Silverman (tax) and Scott Bell (pension investment) of Torys LLP provided external tax and pension investment advice. Stuart LeMesurier and Christina Kobi of McLean & Kerr LLP acted for Oxford in connection with leasing and tenant estoppel matters. Paul Mantini and John van Gent of Bennett Jones LLP acted as external counsel for Oxford in connection with the assumption of mortgage financing at Centennial Place.
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP also acted for Royal Bank of Canada in connection with financing related to the Richmond-Adelaide Centre, with a team that included Michael Matheson and Jennifer Hancock.