TELUS Communications Inc. made the decision last year to sell its major real estate holdings and invited offers on a portfolio of properties, including the 1.26 million square foot twin tower TELUS Plaza complex on Jasper Avenue in downtown Edmonton. In the end, TELUS sold each property individually. The Edmonton towers were purchased on January 31, 2001 by HOOPP Realty Inc., the real estate corporation wholly owned by the Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan Trust Fund. HOOPP obtained financing for the acquisition from Canadian Pacific Railway Company Pension Trust Fund. The vast majority of the office space was leased back to TELUS.
TELUS was represented in the transaction by Witten LLP, with Jim Nesbitt, Q.C., leading on the file and Sol Oshry, Q.C., assisting on the lease back to TELUS. HOOPP was represented by Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP. Don Kowalenko of FMC’s Calgary office led the team, which included Dave Loader of the Calgary office negotiating the lease back to TELUS, Frank Bosscha of the Edmonton office dealing with local municipal matters, and Barry Zalmanowitz of the Edmonton office making the necessary application under the Competition Act. The FMC team worked closely with Tonko Development Corp. of Calgary, the asset manager retained by HOOPP, to advise it with respect to the acquisition, lease back and financing.
The CP Fund was represented by Bogart Robertson & Chu of Toronto under the leadership of John Bogart, Q.C., with representation in Alberta by Bob Homme, Q.C., and Patricia Fehr of Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP.