North York City Centre

North York City Centre is a major retail and office project adjacent to the City Hall of the former City of North York on land owned by the City and ground leased to developers. City Centre Development Corporation, the ground lessee of the office building, the two level retail complex, the Novotel Hotel and the parking garage which form part of the project, recently transferred its interest in these properties to PenYork Properties I Inc., a real estate company controlled by the Caisse de Depot et Placement de Quebec and other pension funds. Fraser Milner acted for the Purchaser on this acquisition valued in excess of $100 million. Fraser Milner’s team, led by Paul Ginou, included lawyers Peter Hand, Karen Ray, Alan Frank, Susan Jackson and Sheryl Nisenbaum. In addition to the complications relating to the ground lease relationship with the City, the project involves various cross easements, cost sharing arrangements and parking agreements with adjoining developments. As well, an existing Distress Preferred Share Arrangement had to be accommodated. Steven Jeffery and David Epstein of Blaney McMurtry Stappels & Friedman acted for the Vendor. The Royal Bank, which discharged its existing mortgage on the property, was represented by Gregory King of Gowling, Strathy & Henderson. James Hilton of Blake, Cassels & Graydon represented Standard Life, which continued its mortgage interest in the property. The receiver in bankruptcy for one of the beneficial owners of the property was represented by McMillan Binch.