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Found 14 results

  1. Downtown lacks affordable housing: group Jan RavensbergenThe Gazette Wednesday, May 21, 2008 MONTREAL - Lower-income Montrealers - anybody with annual family revenue of $55,000 or less - are getting the squeeze during the city's downtown condo-construction boom, a study released Wednesday concludes. No social or community housing was built in the downtown Ville Marie borough during 2006, a round-table group on downtown housing said. Construction of that type of affordable housing completely dried up, plunging to zero from 11 per cent of residential construction across the borough during 2005. For the two years, an overall total of 184 such housing units were built in Ville Marie. Among the overall total of 3,186 units, that boils down to roughly one affordable unit for every 17 built. The report was produced by the Department of urban and tourism studies at l'Université de Montréal, with the participation of the Comité logement Centre-Sud, which represents tenants. "We need a counterweight to the speculative effect brought to the downtown by such projects as the Quartier des spectacles, the new (French-language) super-hospital and the expansion of the universities," said Éric Michaud, coordinator of the tenants' group. The Quebec, municipal and federal governments have to put in major financing to ensure that construction of affordable housing can resume in Ville Marie, Michaud said. However, he added, the 121-page study wasn't designed to produce a cost estimate, and didn't. Across Montreal as a whole in 2006, there was a slight decline in the production of what is considered affordable housing as a proportion of overall residential construction - to 12.3 per cent in 2006 from 13.8 per cent in 2005. As a 10-year objective from 2004, the city's urban plan foresees construction of between 60,000 and 75,000 new housing units. Of those, 30 per cent, or 18,000 to 22,500 units, would be considered affordable, units occupied by households with annual income of $55,000 or less. Half of these would be government-financed housing for low- or very-low-income tenants, with annual revenue of $35,000 or less. "Downtown, there is a long way to go," Michaud said. About 58 per cent of households in Ville Marie report annual income of $35,000 or less, according to the study. Across all of Montreal's 19 boroughs, the proportion is a significantly less 47 per cent. [email protected] © The Gazette 2008 http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=e349d22d-d262-45e3-bcef-537dbd1cc360
  2. Square Dealing: Changes could be afoot at the iconic Westmount Square BY EVA FRIEDE, MONTREAL GAZETTE OCTOBER 10, 2014 2:16 PM Investor Olivier Leclerc outside Westmount Square, who has purchased 84 units in the complex for $70 million. Photograph by: John Mahoney , Montreal Gazette An investor has bought 84 rental units at Westmount Square for $70 million, and says that less than two months after the sale, he has already resold at least 48 of the apartments. Olivier Leclerc, 26, acting with real estate broker and adviser Albert Sayegh, bought the units at the iconic Mies van der Rohe buildings in August from Elad Canada, a division of the Israeli real estate multinational Tshuva Group. The deal means that Elad has sold all of the approximately 220 units in the two residential towers of Westmount Square. Now it is proposing to convert Tower 1, with 200,000 square feet of office space, to condos. But Westmount has slapped a freeze on all conversions from commercial or institutional buildings to residential use and is studying all development in its southeast commercial sector, from Atwater to Greene Avenues. The freeze is in effect until an interim bylaw is adopted and an update on the study is expected in November, said Westmount councillor Theodora Samiotis. Samiotis, who is the commissioner of urban planning for Westmount, said there are two concerns about such a conversion. First is Westmount Square’s heritage value as a Mies van der Rohe mixed commercial-residential project, completed in 1967. “On a heritage value, obviously we would want to make sure that any architectural aspect of the design would respect that,” she said. And there are those who would argue that changing the usage combination would change the architect’s vision, she said. The complex was conceived with three towers — two residential and one office — and an 86,000-square-foot shopping concourse. Equally important to Samiotis is the commercial vibrancy of the area. “So when you tell me you are changing a commercial tower to a residential tower, I am concerned about the impact this is going to have on my commercial district,” she said. Residential tax rates are lower than commercial rates, so the city also could lose revenue. “It’s not just the conversion of any building. It’s a landmark,” she said. They are very much aware of the proposal to convert the office tower, Sayegh said, but the file is currently closed. “If Tower 1 does occur, we will look at it,” he said. Elad Canada owns, operates or is developing such properties as New York’s Plaza Hotel, Emerald City in Toronto and in Montreal, the Cité Nature development near the Olympic Village and Le Nordelac in Point St-Charles. The 84 Westmount Square units were the remaining rental units in two of the towers. In a meeting at Sayegh’s real estate office — he is president of the commercial division of RE/MAX Du Cartier on Bernard St. W. — Leclerc said he bought the apartments in August as an investment, and resold them to various groups of investors, two of which bought about 12 apartments each. Leclerc would not specify how many of the apartments he intends to keep. It is a significant sale, probably the biggest of the year, said Patrice Ménard of Patrice Ménard Multi-Logement, which specializes in sales of multi-unit residential buildings. But it is not a record. By comparison, the La Cité complex of three buildings with more than 1,300 units sold for $172 million two years ago. Also in 2012, Elad sold the Olympic Village to Capreit Real Estate Investment Trust for about $176 million, Ménard said. Both La Cité and the Olympic Village remain rental properties, however. Both Sayegh and Leclerc emphasized that confidence in the economy was a basis for the Westmount Square purchase. The reselling was not a flip, but a long-term strategy, Sayegh said. “He has his own chess game,” Sayegh said. “The context was favourable to take hold of such a prestigious building — the political context,” Leclerc said. “The socio-economic climate in Quebec has never been as conducive to investments as it is today,” Sayegh added. Leclerc would not say what profit he has taken so far, nor what return he is expecting. “It’s a nice acquisition to my portfolio,” Leclerc said. He also owns or has converted buildings in Mont St-Hilaire and Brossard as well as Hampstead Court on Queen Mary, bought in 2011 and now all sold. Four years ago, Leclerc joined his father, Ghislain, in the business of converting rental buildings to co-operatives. Over 25 years, he and his father have converted more than 2,500 apartments, he said. His father is now semi-retired. With his father, he also worked on the conversion of the Gleneagles apartments on Côte des Neiges Rd., bought in 2010 and sold by 2013. “We do major work. We put the building in top shape,” Leclerc said. “Then we make esthetic improvements. After that, we sell the apartments. “We never throw out the tenants. We profit from the fact that the tenants are in place, who pay rent ‘x’ for an apartment in the state it is in. “We respect the rental laws.” Leclerc said he buys only good buildings in good locations. “The area reflects the tenants. Location, location, location.” At Westmount Square, the tenants are not affected, Leclerc said, as the same company, Cogir, manages the building. The range of price for the 84 apartments was $400,000 to $2 million. [email protected] Twitter: @evitastyle
  3. I think this is an UQAM pavilion? Whatever commercial tenants they had probably got kicked out for this full-scale renovation. Can't really find anything about it online. March 12th 2016
  4. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-31/downtown-nyc-landlords-remake-offices-in-shift-from-banks.htmlDowntown NYC Landlords Remake Offices in Shift From Banks By David M. Levitt - July 31, 2013 David Cheikin is betting that skateboard millionaires will be happy where the Thundering Herd once roamed. As vice president of leasing for Brookfield Office Properties Inc. (BPO), Cheikin is leading the push to remake lower Manhattan’s former World Financial Center into a destination for technology and media companies. Once home to the Merrill Lynch & Co., the brokerage firm known for its bull logo, the Hudson riverfront complex is now Brookfield Place New York, and much more than the name is changing. Brookfield is stripping away brass and marble trims and adding bicycle parking, free Wi-Fi in public spaces and electric-car charging stations. At Merrill’s former headquarters, clear glass is replacing the imposing, dark-tinted facade built as a barrier to the public, Cheikin said. “We’re just trying to work out ways to make it more in line with how people want to work today,” he said. Downtown landlords with millions of square feet of empty space are transforming offices that were designed for the global financial elite to better appeal to New York’s technology and media firms. They’re pitching their properties as an alternative to the converted factories of midtown south, where a frenzy of demand has pushed up rents and driven vacancies to the lowest in the U.S. The image makeover is only part of the challenge as the area faces a glut of space from skyscrapers that are nearing completion at the World Trade Center site. Empty Space Consolidating financial companies have left landlords with at least 6.3 million square feet (585,000 square meters) of space to fill, almost 7 percent of the lower Manhattan office market, according to data from brokerage Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Another 2.4 million square feet remains unrented at two new trade center towers scheduled for completion by mid-2014. At Brookfield Place, vacancies loom on about a third of its 8 million square feet. Across the street at 1 World Trade Center, the Durst Organization is preparing a marketing campaign to convince creative firms that they’ll feel at home in the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building. Almost half of the tower, scheduled to open next year, is available for lease. Durst, equity partner with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the 1,776-foot (541-meter) skyscraper, is targeting companies that are in “phase-two growth, after the incubation startup stages,” said Tara Stacom, the Cushman & Wakefield Inc. vice chairman who is working with the developers on the leasing effort. New Construction “There’s something that the new construction can accommodate for all these tech users that the old construction can’t, and that is growth,” Stacom said. “A lot of these tenants are one size today, and they’re 200 times that size in less than a decade, and in some cases less than half a decade. We’re only now going out to speak to this audience.” Tenants could agree to take a small space at first, then expand into larger offices in the tower, Stacom said. As rents soar in the older buildings of midtown south, available government incentives and the efficiencies of new real estate would make the trade center more cost-effective, even at an asking rent of $75 a square foot, among the highest for downtown, she said. The tower’s open, column-free space offers more flexibility and the developers are even ready to duplicate a look that’s become popular with technology firms, leaving the ductwork exposed, Stacom said. Space ‘Mismatch’ About 1.4 million square feet are unspoken for in the skyscraper, which is slated to open to tenants next year and will have Conde Nast Publications Inc. as its anchor tenant. Another 1 million square feet are available at Silverstein Properties Inc.’s 4 World Trade Center, to open before year-end. There’s “a mismatch between the unprecedented amount of class A space currently available and the preferences of the tech sector for loft space in a neighborhood with a non-corporate vibe,” according to tenant brokerage Studley Inc. “Tech and creative-sector companies in Manhattan are indisputably growing by leaps and bounds,” Steven Coutts, senior vice president for national research at New York-based Studley, said in a July 24 report. “Nevertheless, this sector still lacks the heft to fill the void” left by contracting banks and other traditional office users, such as accounting and insurance companies. Lowest Rents Downtown Manhattan has the lowest rents and the highest office availability of the borough’s three major submarkets. The availability rate -- empty space and offices due to become vacant within 12 months -- was almost 16 percent at the end of June, up from 10.8 percent a year earlier, data from CBRE Group Inc. show. Asking rents jumped 20 percent to an average of $47.13 a square foot, a reflection of landlords’ expectations for the high-end space added to the market in the past year, according to Los Angeles-based CBRE. Rents in midtown south -- including such neighborhoods as Chelsea, the Flatiron District and Soho -- averaged $63.44 a square foot and the availability rate was 10 percent. Brookfield has about 2.7 million square feet of former Merrill offices to fill at its namesake complex. Bank of America Corp. (BAC), which took over the space when it bought Merrill in 2009, is keeping about 775,000 square feet and will stop paying rent on the rest in September when its leases expire. At Merrill’s former headquarters at 250 Vesey St., the vacant restaurant that once housed the Hudson River Club, where brokers dined on grouse and pheasant, has been removed. It’s now an open area where anyone can gaze at the Statue of Liberty in the distance. The change is part of a $250 million makeover of the World Financial Center’s retail space that will include an upscale food market and eateries that overlook the marina. Transit Hub Another selling point, according to Cheikin, will be the completion in the next two years of a $3.94 billion transit hub designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Brookfield is close to completing a 55-foot glass entryway supported by a pair of cyclone-shaped steel columns that will link Brookfield Place with the transportation center. Across town on the East River waterfront, SL Green Realty Corp. (SLG) is marketing about 900,000 square feet at 180 Maiden Lane, a black-glass tower south of the Brooklyn Bridge. Most of that is space that American International Group Inc. (AIG), once the world’s largest insurer, will vacate next year. SL Green, Manhattan’s biggest office landlord, is spending $40 million on renovations that include making over the interior plaza, as well as AIG’s cafeteria, auditorium and health club to transform them into “communal-type amenities,” said Steve Durels, director of leasing. Soul Cycle “I want the cafeteria to look like it’s a Starbucks, and I want the fitness center to look like it’s a Soul Cycle,” Durels said. “And I want the auditorium to look like the presentation space you’d find in a W Hotel.” Most importantly, he said, the ground-floor atrium will work like an indoor park, with seating areas where people can get a coffee and work on their laptops. Half of the floor will be covered in artificial turf, where tenants could arrange a volleyball, badminton or bocce game. So far, downtown landlords’ efforts to land creative firms have borne little fruit. Some of the industry’s biggest names -- Yahoo! Inc., EBay Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc. -- have opted to go elsewhere. Yahoo took four floors in the century-old former New York Times headquarters in Midtown, while LinkedIn went to the 82-year-old Empire State Building. EBay chose a onetime department store on Sixth Avenue in Chelsea that dates back to the 1890s, when the corridor was known as Ladies’ Mile. ‘Iconic’ Firms Facebook went to the East Village, taking about 100,000 square feet in 770 Broadway, which was designed in 1905 by Daniel Burnham, the architect who conceived the Flatiron Building. The social-media company joins tenants including AOL Inc. and the Huffington Post in the 15-story property. “Those firms are all iconic,” said Miles Rose, founder of SiliconAlley.com, a Web-based community for New York’s emerging technology industry. “The big, plain boxes don’t work for either their corporate culture or their workers. Older, iconic buildings have character and they have presence.” Of the 50 largest Manhattan leases made by technology, media, information and fashion tenants in the past two years, only 10 were in buildings completed later than 1970, according to Compstak Inc., a New York-based provider of leasing data. When 10gen Inc., maker of MongoDB data-management software, sought to expand out of its Soho offices last year, “downtown wasn’t exactly right for us,” said Eliot Horowitz, co-founder and chief technology officer. “We wanted some place that was pretty wide-open and feeling kind of lofty. We sort of wanted a Soho feel, but with a lot more flexibility and a lot more space than you can actually get in Soho.” Older Buildings 10Gen wound up taking about 32,000 square feet at the Times Building, he said. This month, it expanded its commitment to almost 50,000 square feet. Some creative companies that have gone downtown have favored the market’s older buildings. When HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. agreed to leave its longtime Midtown headquarters, it took 180,000 square feet at 195 Broadway, a colonnaded tower built in 1916 that was originally the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. building. WeWork, a company founded three years ago to provide shared office space to startups, took 120,500 square feet at 222 Broadway, a 27-story property completed in 1961 that once housed Merrill offices. Brooklyn Projects Brooklyn, across the East River from lower Manhattan, may emerge as competition for technology and media tenants. Developers have plans for about 630,000 square feet of offices at the former Domino Sugar plant on the Williamsburg neighborhood’s waterfront. In an industrial district near the Brooklyn Bridge, 1.2 million square feet of buildings long-owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses are under contract to be sold to a partnership that may make much of the space into offices. New York’s Economic Development Corp. projects that fast-growing technology companies will need an additional 20 million square feet of space over the next 12 years, and they’ll be seeking rents of less than $40 a square foot. Melissa Coley, a Brookfield spokeswoman, declined to say what rents it’s seeking at Brookfield Place. The landlord last week said it had rented about 191,000 square feet combined to Bank of Nova Scotia, Oppenheimer Funds Inc. and fitness-club chain Equinox Holdings Inc. Earlier this year, it landed GFK SE, a German retail-research firm, for 75,000 square feet at 200 Liberty St., formerly 1 World Financial Center. GFK is moving from an older building in Chelsea. Trade Center The World Trade Center site is poised to get its second large media tenant. GroupM, an advertising planning and placement firm owned by WPP Inc., is working on terms to lease 515,000 square feet at 3 World Trade Center, according to two people with knowledge of the talks. The skyscraper, slated for completion in 2016, is being developed by Larry Silverstein, who considered capping the tower at seven stories if he couldn’t land an anchor tenant. If he goes ahead with building it to the full 80-story height, he’ll have another 2 million square feet to fill. The 70,000-square-foot spaces planned for 3 World Trade Center, called “trading floors” on the developer’s website, can be designed for “any industry,” according to Jeremy Moss, Silverstein’s director of leasing. GroupM is planning to use some of the five base floors, according to the people. Greg Taubin, a broker at Studley who represented 10gen, said certain technology tenants will be tempted by landlords’ efforts, while others “won’t go below 14th Street, period.” “It’s very tenant-specific,” he said. “But as midtown south continues to be tight for these types of tenants, certain buildings downtown will be the beneficiaries of this.” To contact the reporter on this story: David M. Levitt in New York at [email protected] To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at [email protected] ®2013 BLOOMBERG L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
  5. McGill College office space experiencing a revival By Allison Lampert, Montreal Gazette October 6, 2010 When 1981 McGill College was sold two years ago, the new owners were purchasing an office building that would soon be almost a third empty. At the time, a major tenant, the law firm Ogilvy Renault, which occupied about 177,000 square feet out of 630,000 square feet of leasable space, was moving to Place Ville Marie. "It's a risk that we took," said Martin Rousseau, leasing director for the new owner, Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. "But now it's going well, we're very happy." After hitting a vacancy rate of more than 11 per cent and losing some major tenants over the last decade - including CGI Inc., Bell Canada, and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec - the office buildings on McGill College Ave. appear to be going through a revival, real estate brokers say. In recent months, landlords have landed some big name tenants. In 2012, tax and risk management consultancy firm RSM Richter is to move its Montreal offices from Alexis Nihon in Westmount to 1981 McGill College - a coup for Industrial. Last week, Polaris Realty announced the arrival of the Fédération des Caisses Desjardins du Québec to 1253 McGill College. And over the summer, Astral Media moved from Ste. Catherine St. downtown to its new offices on McGill College. "It's been good news for McGill College," said Luciano D'Iorio, president of Terramont Real Estate Services Inc. "There's been a lot of musical chairs." Brokers weren't always so optimistic about the bustling downtown street. With McGill College's vacancy rate hitting 11.3 per cent in 2002, the fear was that other tenants would want to relocate near the Caisse's new headquarters at the Quartier International besides Square Victoria. "Then the story was doom and gloom," said D'Iorio, who's writing a piece on the street's revival for the real estate trade publication Espace Magazine. "There was the fear that tenants wouldn't want to be on McGill College." In the third quarter, the Montreal market for Class A office space - as in most of the country - showed an improvement in vacancy rates, an October report by Cannacord Genuity says. In Montreal, the vacancy rates for Class A office buildings are now under the equilibrium point of 10 per cent level, D'Iorio says. But rents for Class A buildings dropped slightly in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, said the Cannacord report, citing data from CB Richard Ellis. Rousseau of Industrial says he's optimistic despite still having the following three blocks of space left to rent: 35,000 square feet, 24,000 square feet and 5,000 square feet. "Historically it's an attractive address," he said of McGill College. [email protected]
  6. Macklowe’s Worldwide Plaza Successor Wrestles Towering Dilemma By David M. Levitt Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Real estate investor Peter Duncan, who negotiated the nation’s biggest property deal of the year in buying Manhattan’s Worldwide Plaza, is now in charge of a skyscraper that’s 40 percent empty. The Italian marble south lobby of Worldwide Plaza, the gateway to 14 vacant floors, is quiet. It’s one reason Duncan, president of George Comfort & Sons Inc., was able to buy the 49- story building in July for $590 million, two years after it sold for almost three times as much. The purchase price may allow Duncan to undercut the rents competitors charge as he leases his 709,000 square feet. Manhattan has 59 million feet of available offices, according to brokerage Colliers ABR, the most since June 1996, and rents for the best space are down more than 30 percent from their peak last year. Duncan’s outcome may help investors determine whether it’s time to resume buying New York office buildings. “They are one of the first waves of risk-takers here in this asset recovery business,” said Robert Freedman, executive chairman of New York-based brokerage FirstService Williams. “They made a great deal if they can manage this risk.” Pinched by scarce credit and the recession, New York City may hit a record low dollar value for commercial property sales this year. Manhattan office properties have lost almost 47 percent of their value since 2007, more than any other major U.S. city, according to the Concord Group, a consulting firm in Newport Beach, California. Investor Signal If Comfort and its partners lease the space at 825 Eighth Ave. quickly, it will be a “signal for investors” that could increase their appetite for risk, said Jim Frederick, a principal at Colliers ABR, a New York-based commercial broker. Not a single lease for more than 250,000 square feet in Midtown has been signed this year, according to CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the world’s biggest commercial brokerage. Tenants have plenty to choose from. Just eight blocks south at Eighth Avenue and 42nd Street is 11 Times Square, a new 1.06 million square-foot office tower that’s almost finished and has no tenants. Just up the street is 3 Columbus Circle, the former Newsweek Building, where 417,000 square feet is available, according to Colliers. Six blocks southeast lies the former New York Times building, where all 644,000 square feet is up for lease. Comfort’s advantage may be price. The partnership paid $370 a square foot for Worldwide Plaza, while competitors paid $1,000 a foot or more for similar buildings at the height of the five- year U.S. property boom. Rents Fall “No longer will they have to get $80 or $90 or $100 a square foot” for a lease, Robert Sammons, research director at Colliers, said in an Aug. 20 interview on Bloomberg Television. “They can do deals in the 30s, 40s or 50s now, which is going to help start to move the market.” Rents for so-called Class A Midtown offices averaged $68.38 a square foot at the end of September, according to Colliers data. The law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP agreed to pay almost to $100 a foot when it renewed its 600,000-square-foot lease at Worldwide Plaza in 2007, a person involved in the transaction said at the time. “I look at the vacancy as being an opportunity,” said Duncan, whose company owns or has interests in eight other New York office properties. “The success of any deal is dependent on how well occupied you keep your buildings.” Comfort, a closely held family-owned company, and its partners set aside “in excess of $100 million” to cover leasing costs, including maintenance and a reserve to renovate for new occupants, Duncan said in an interview. He declined to disclose the building’s expected first-year yield, or capitalization rate. Higher Vacancies The vacancy rate for the highest-quality offices in Manhattan was 12 percent in September, near the highest in more than 12 years, Colliers said. Tenants haven’t been in a better position since the mid-1990s, when the market was coming out of a recession, Sammons said. Duncan’s challenge is the latest for a skyscraper that helped gentrify part of the west side in the 1980s. Built on the old 50th Street site of Madison Square Garden, it was the first sizable skyscraper built that far west in Manhattan. A PBS program, “Skyscraper: the Making of a Building,” documented the construction. William Zeckendorf Jr. developed the property. It was the first New York commission for Skidmore Owings & Merrill architect David Childs, who went on to design the nearby Time Warner Center. Macklowe’s Purchase Developer Harry Macklowe purchased Worldwide Plaza and six other Manhattan buildings from Blackstone Group LP in February of 2007, the same day Blackstone bought billionaire Sam Zell’s Equity Office Properties Trust in what was then the biggest leveraged buyout in history. A year later, Macklowe lost all seven properties to lender Deutsche Bank AG when he was unable to refinance almost $7 billion in short-term debt he used to acquire the buildings. Deutsche Bank financed a $470 million loan for Comfort’s group to make the purchase. The partners include RCG Longview, an investment firm whose founders include former Shearson Lehman Brothers Inc. Chief Executive Officer Peter Cohen; and DRA Advisors LLC, a New York-based sponsor of real estate investment funds. “We wanted to put together a group that has been through the wars a little bit,” Duncan said. The partners “are all long-term holders of real estate.” The floors they need to rent make up the second-biggest empty space in the city: 14 stories at the base of the tower vacated in June by the advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather. Empty Space While some floors have been stripped to the fireproofing, traces of the ad agency remain. The walls on the fourth floor are covered with artwork, including a red and black 1960s-style pop-art mural that reads: “Next time there’s a war for sale, it’s alright to say no thank you.” Representatives of accounting firm Deloitte LLP have spoken with Comfort about taking some of the space, according to two people familiar with the discussion. They declined to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the space. Jonathan Gandal, a spokesman for Deloitte, declined to comment. “We’ve had lot of people look at the available space,” Duncan said. “We are actually discussing having active negotiations with certain tenants. And that and $2.25 gets you a ride on the subway.” To contact the reporter on this story: David M. Levitt in New York at [email protected] Last Updated: October 23, 2009 00:01 EDT http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aJG1.l7fPiik
  7. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/Heritage+building+revamped+LEED+certification/5397141/story.html#ixzz1XsiSv9iG
  8. I have heard from a source who works for a tenant at 1425 Boul. Rene-Levesque Ouest that the building was recently sold to Saputo and therefore the property management contact info had changed. I don't know anything beyond this. There were rumours circulating in other threads about Saputo targeting the Standard Life Building which appears to have fallen through... could this have been their Plan B? The building is home to a number of tenants including Quebec govt offices, some international NGOs, and a language school among others... as well as the newly opened Frunchroom restaurant.
  9. Construction: 2006 (Delayed, started in 2007) Completion: 2007 The actual billboard for the project has "Le Keg Steakhouse", guess they backed out or was just a rendition. Looks like a great complexe, its weird I move out of the West Island and they start building this thing
  10. In past recessions, city's developers learned the effects of overbuilding the hard way. Caution is paying off this time around ELEANOR BEATON Globe and Mail Update Two years ago, Yves-André Godon was scouring Montreal for an anchor tenant for his company's proposed 400,000-square-foot downtown office tower. At the time, Montreal's office market was looking rosy. The vacancy rate was a healthy 9.3 per cent and 6 per cent of the city's available office space was being leased each quarter – a record absorption rate, Mr. Godon says. The time looked ripe for the managing director of SITQ Canada, an international real estate investment company based in Montreal, to forge ahead with the development. But Mr. Godon hesitated. Even though it had been years since the city had seen new Class A office space built, he says many large-scale tenants seemed content to stay put; SITQ was having trouble attracting an anchor tenant quickly enough. “We didn't want to do anything on a speculative basis,” he says. Given the economy's subsequent downturn, Mr. Godon's instincts appear to have been right. It's a cautionary stance that was learned the hard way. During past recessions, overbuilding caused Montreal's office market to suffer more than in other parts of the country. But today, as other major cities contend with rising vacancy rates and the simultaneous delivery of millions of square feet of new office space, the kind of discipline that Mr. Godon displayed is helping to shield Montreal from the same drastic effects of the downturn. Montreal developers “lived through a lot of pain,” says Jean Laurin, president and chief executive officer of real estate advisory Devencore Ltd. “Few developers are going ahead until they find tenants.” As a result, “we have not had any exposure to overbuilding,” adds Robert Mercier, president of real estate services firm DTZ Barnicke (Quebec). The dearth of new developments is not the only factor. Also contributing is continued strong demand from tenants who are not players in the industries hit hardest by the downturn, such as energy, experts say. The combination means that Montreal now has one of the most stable office markets in the country. Even though at 9.7 per cent, Montreal's vacancy rate is higher than Toronto's (8.4 per cent) or Vancouver's (7.8 per cent), according to second-quarter figures from real estate firm CB Richard Ellis, downtown office vacancy rates in Montreal have risen less than in other major Canadian cities. Montreal's sublet space as a percentage of overall vacancy – a leading indicator of the health of the office leasing market – is, at 11 per cent, far lower than in other major cities, a sign that most tenants are holding onto their space, rather than putting it back on the market. The city is contending with a much smaller rise in sublet space than other cities. Insiders estimate that 10,000 to 15,000 square feet of sublease space comes back on the market each week. Unlike Calgary and Toronto, what little sublet space Montreal does put back into the market isn't competing for tenants with a glut of brand-new supply. Other than a recently constructed 840,000-square-foot Bell Canada Campus, the city has seen virtually no new office construction in recent years. In contrast, Toronto's central business district is facing the delivery of up to 3.1 million square feet of new office space, according to CB Richard Ellis. With little new development in the downtown in recent years, large-scale tenants in Montreal have few rental options, and therefore tend to stay put, further stabilizing the market. “Leasing is very strong on the renewal front,” Mr. Laurin says. Montreal also benefits from a diverse user base, says Brett Miller, executive vice-president of CB Richard Ellis in Quebec. He points out that the city's major employers represent solidly performing industries from the engineering, IT and video gaming industries. While Montreal may be performing well in comparison to other major cities, industry veterans aren't forgetting the lessons learned from the past. Developers such as Mr. Godon aren't planning any new developments until the economy recovers. “We're back to Real Estate 101,” he says. “That means focusing on serving the tenants we have, rather than looking for new projects.”
  11. Market’s Troubles Echo in a Building’s Vacant Floors Article Tools Sponsored By By CHARLES V. BAGLI Published: November 9, 2008 The elevators work fine, the views are great, the offices have been refurbished and no one is complaining about rats. In so many ways, the green-tinted, 41-story office tower overlooking Bryant Park seems a desirable address. So why are tenants who rushed to rent space a year ago in the building, at 1095 Avenue of the Americas, rushing to break their leases now? The answer says much about the increasingly precarious state of Midtown Manhattan’s real estate market at a time when once-mighty financial companies like Lehman Brothers are disappearing and the slowing economy is driving the vacancy rate up and commercial rents down. Though the building, once owned by Verizon, just went through a two-year, $250 million makeover, several financial firms that signed leases in 2006 and 2007 say they no longer can afford the rents or the cost of outfitting new spaces. Others are laying off workers or reorganizing their offices and no longer need as much room. The first sign of trouble came over the summer when iStar Financial, a real estate finance company, decided not to move into the 100,000 square feet of space that it had rented on the 36th, 37th and 38th floors. Several weeks later, Metropolitan Life Insurance, whose name is now in block letters over the tower’s front doors, quietly began shopping for tenants to sublease 100,000 square feet of its space in the building, a quarter of what it signed up for in 2006. And last month, Centerline Capital Group, a suddenly struggling commercial property finance and investment company, confirmed that it would not be moving into its 100,000 square feet of space on the third, fourth and fifth floors. The company is negotiating with the landlord, the Blackstone Group, to buy out its lease or to sublet the space, said real estate executives who have been briefed on the talks. The companies signed leases for as much as $132 a square foot, when the market was near its peak. Despite the building’s new glass skin, refurbished space and prime location at the corner of 42nd Street, many brokers say they would be lucky to get $95 a square foot today. The difference would translate into millions of dollars a year. Neither iStar nor MetLife have found any takers. For landlords and brokers, the building has become a closely watched barometer of the commercial real estate market in Midtown, where the mercury is clearly falling. Although the rents being asked have hardly moved, brokers say that landlords are providing a menu of concessions that are substantially reducing the effective price. “It’s definitely a microcosm of the last few years in the New York real estate market,” said Peter Riguardi, president of Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate brokerage and advising company. The problems at 1095 Avenue of the Americas are not hurting Blackstone so far. The combined unused space of Centerline, MetLife and iStar accounts for roughly one-third of the 1.06 million square feet owned by Blackstone in the building, and the three companies are obligated to pay full rent even if they are unable to sublease the space. Brokers say that Blackstone would require the companies to pay dearly to break their leases. But trouble could emerge if any of the companies tumble into bankruptcy court and stopped paying rent. Other tenants seem to be staying put. Dechert L.L.P., a law firm and the first tenant to sign a lease in 2006, is moving onto floors 25 through 31, and Bank of Scotland is occupying its two floors, 34 and 35. MetLife is moving into its space at the top of the tower, even as it tries to sublease its space in the middle. And Robert Alexander, chairman of the New York office of CB Richard Ellis, the real estate brokerage for the tower, said he had pending deals for two other vacant floors, 32 and 33. “We’re signing smaller deals at premium rents, and we look forward to finishing our leasing program,” he said. Brokers familiar with the space offered by iStar, MetLife and Centerline say competition for tenants in Midtown is growing in part because there is ample renovated space available in other buildings. As a result, many companies are demanding rent concessions from landlords or are refusing to take on the cost of adding walls, carpeting and bathrooms to newly renovated space. “What’s missing right now is the demand for raw space,” said one broker, who requested anonymity because he was active at the former Verizon building and he did not want to alienate the landlords or other brokers. The building was constructed in 1974 with vertical white marble slabs and few windows to house switches and other equipment for New York Telephone, which became Verizon. In 2005, as rents and sales prices for commercial buildings were skyrocketing, the company put the tower on the market, with the exception of 234,000 square feet on Floors 6 through 12. Equity Office Properties, one of the largest commercial real estate owners in the country, won a hotly contested auction with a bid of $506 million, more than Verizon had anticipated. At the time, many analysts suggested that Equity Office had overpaid, especially after the new owner started a $250 million renovation that included replacing the marble exterior with a glass skin. Equity Office, however, was betting that the tower would lure prime tenants and generate rents as high as $90 a square foot. And it was right: Rents escalated even higher as the vacancy rate in Midtown plunged and investors clamored to buy properties. Blackstone bought Equity Office for $39 billion in early 2007, at what turned out to be the height of the market. It sold most of Equity’s New York buildings but held on to 1095 Avenue of the Americas. The firm signed leases last year with Bank of Scotland and Centerline for as much as $150 a square foot, brokers active at the tower said. MetLife’s average effective rent, for floors in the middle and at the top, is about $100 a square foot, or $40 million a year, according to real estate executives familiar with the deal. The insurance giant had moved most of its New York employees to Long Island City in 2002, where rents were as low as $30 a square foot. But in 2006, MetLife reversed course, signing a lease to move about 1,300 employees from Queens into the former Verizon building. But this year, the company reassessed how many employees were actually in the office at any one time and determined that it needed only 9 of the 12 floors it had leased in the tower. So early next year, MetLife plans to formally market three of its floors, said John Calagna, a spokesman for MetLife. Mr. Calagna said that the same number of people who moved into 1095 Avenue of the Americas two years ago, about 1,300, are now “moving to less space.”
  12. Avison Young Montreal | 2008 Review and 2009 Forecast | 2008 In Review At the start of 2008, a strong Canadian dollar negatively impacted the province’s export industry. However, Montreal still posted positive economic growth of 1.7% for the year.2008 was a challenging year for the Montreal economy. The combination of a strong Canadian dollar for most of the year and the recent financial crisis in the United States negatively impacted the province’s export industry. Quebec’s economy is positioned in industrial sectors that are lagging or in a slump, such as the clothing, forestry, furniture and manufacturing industries. However, despite all this, Montreal still posted positive economic growth of 1.7% in 2008. Employment grew by 1.3% in the year and is anticipated to increase by another 1.5% in 2009. Consumer spending remained high and has contributed tremendously to economic growth. Office Engineering firms, many of whom are expanding to support major infrastructure projects in the province, spurred demand for office space. Downtown office vacancy closed the year at 5.4%, a significant drop from 6.2% at the end of 2007 and 9% at the end of 2006. The decrease in vacancyrates in the downtown market was accompanied by only a slight increase in rental rates. The suburban office vacancy rate has remained stable over the past four years, and closed the year at 13.1%. In 2008, 400,000 square feet (sq. ft.) of space was absorbed in the market, significantly lower than the 2007 absorption of 1.37 million sq. ft. Absorption of office space has been modest due to lack of quality space. Certainly, what is left of quality office space in downtown Montreal is quickly being absorbed, and options for tenants are becoming increasingly limited. Industrial Montreal’s manufacturing sector has been strongly affected by the rise in the value of the Canadian dollar. As a result, the industrial market has moved away from manufacturing to logistics and distribution type industries that drove demand for industrial space in Montreal. These types of companies require smaller spaces with greater clear heights. Consequently, vacancy rates increased for large spaces of 100,000 sq. ft. and more, whereas spaces between 15,000 and 25,000 sq. ft. became increasingly more difficult to find. Buildings with clear heights of 24 feet are in great demand and have an extremely low vacancy rate of approximately 1%. The rental rates for these buildings have therefore increased. Limited availability of appropriate space motivated tenants to construct built–to-suit projects that provide the amenities they require. Many of the older, more obsolete buildings are being demolished or completely renovated by developers. Retail Substantial consumer demand in Montreal created an active retail market in 2008, and retail sales rose by 5.5% in the year. In the downtown core’s central area, rental rates have quadrupled and vacancies are nonexistent. Rental rates closed the year at between $200 to $215 psf at the corner of Ste-Catherine and Peel Streets. Newcomers to Ste-Catherine Street include Apple Computer’s first Montreal retail location at 1321 Ste-Catherine Street West and H&M at the corner of Peel Street, with 20,000 sq. ft. Investment The financial crisis in the United States has softened the investment market in Montreal. Assets offered for sale require a longer exposure period. Investors using financial leverage as the basis for investment are having trouble completing acquisitions, thus diminishing the occurrence of successful transactions. As a result capitalization rates increased by approximately 25 basis points this year. Despite this, many successful transactions were completed earlier in 2008. Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. invested approximately $100 million to acquire a 50% interest in 1981 McGill College, together with a major financial partner that acquired the remaining 50%. Cominar REIT acquired 2001 McGill College for $165 million. Canderel and Proment sold the first Phase of the Bell Campus for $185 million to a German real estate investment fund. 2009 Forecast Office Montreal is the only city in Canada with no significant downtown office construction projects. Until recently, large tenants have been able to find suitable alternatives that were much less expensive than proposed new projects. However, as vacancy rates continue to plunge, the availability of quality space will become even more limited. Tenants will soon have no choice but to consider one of the new construction projects. Expect to see the beginning of one or two office construction projects in 2009. Potential office developments include Canderel’s development of 1201-1215 Phillips Square, Hines’ development of 900 de Maisonneuve, Magil Laurentienne’s office or mixed-use building at 701 University and Westcliff’s development of Phase 2 of Place de la Cité Internationale. Quebec’s 2008 budget aimed to stimulate business investment by eliminating tax on capital for manufacturers and by offering a tax credit for the purchase of manufacturing equipment and a tax credit for new information technology companies. Accordingly, the Province of Quebec agreed to provide investment banking giant Morgan Stanley with $60 million in tax credits for opening a new global technical support centre in Montreal. Morgan Stanley is currently searching for office space in anticipation of bringing staff levels to 500 or more. Phase 1 of the new Bell campus on Nun’s Island was officially opened in August of this year. Phase 2 is anticipated to be ready for occupancy in February 2009. It will comprise 235,000 sq. ft. of office space and amenities, bringing the total to 840,000 sq. ft. A third phase is also planned, thus bringing the campus total to approximately 1.4 million sq. ft. The downtown core office market has absorbed a large percentage of the space formerly occupied by Bell. Retail In 2009, Canadians will likely be faced with weakening job prospects, tighter credit conditions and economic uncertainty, thus leading to moderated consumer spending. Retail sales are expected to grow by only 3.5% in 2009, as opposed to the 5.5% growth seen in 2008. Demand for space on Ste-Catherine Street will slow dramatically in 2009. As a result, retail vacancy rates are anticipated to increase and if retail sales continue to lag, we expect to see some retailers walking away from stores that do not perform. This will give tenants the upper hand in lease negotiations. Industrial The diminishing strength of the Canadian dollar will benefit the export industry in 2009. Demand for industrial space will likely come from the logistics, distribution and aerospace industries. We anticipate the overall vacancy rate to increase, as more space comes to market and older buildings that lack required ceiling heights remain empty. However, the vacancy rate for smaller buildings with adequate clear heights will remain low. Rental rates for the older, more obsolete buildings will decrease and rates for newer, smaller spaces with adequate ceiling heights will remain flat. Industrial construction activity will continue to slow in 2009 as a result of financing difficulties coupled with high land and construction costs. However, industrial growth will continue off the island of Montreal due to lower land costs and higher availability. Investment Banks have tightened credit significantly and consequently, financing is more difficult to obtain. Borrowers that lack liquidity will likely have difficulty acquiring assets. This, however, will leave the door open for REITs and international investors with capital at their disposal. In 2009, we anticipate a general slowdown in the investment market. The majority of investment sales deals in 2009 will be concentrated on a few portfolio deals; mostly smaller transactions involving retail and warehouse properties. Prices for commercial real estate product will likely decrease and cap rates will increase by 50 to 100 basis points. http://www.avisonyoung.com/library/pdf/National/forecast2009.pdf Également présent dans la section "Ressources".
  13. Toronto residents thought landlord's notice was an April Fools prank By Natalie Nanowski, CBC News (http://www.cbc.ca/news/cbc-news-online-news-staff-list-1.1294364) Posted: Apr 04, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 04, 2017 4:11 PM ET Most people expect their rent to go up each year, but not by 100 per cent. So you can imagine the shock AJ Merrick and Jon Moorhouse experienced when they got a letter from their landlord. "I thought it was an April Fools joke," said Merrick, a young marketing professional. "There's no way I'd pay that much for this apartment." But it wasn't a joke. Their two-bedroom condo located near Liberty Village was going up from $1,660 to $3,320. The notice outlined two options, either accept the rent increase or agree to vacate the unit by July 1. Wondering 'what good it would do to fight it' The letter AJ Merrick and Jon Moorhouse received about their rent increase. (Jon Moorhouse) "I just don't know what good it would do to fight it," Moorhouse said. "Realistically, they're probably trying to kick us out so they can sell the unit for the most profit." CBC Toronto tried to contact the company in charge of the rental unit, Urbancorp, which is described on its website as the "premier developer of the King West neighbourhood." The company's number is no longer in service and emails to their address listed online bounced. The company announced it had to undergo restructuring in April 2016 under the Bankruptcy Act. The lawyers handling that restructuring also didn't answer emails or calls Monday or Tuesday. A rent increase of 100 per cent is completely legal given the 1991 loophole, known formally as Bill 96. Buildings built after 1991 'the Wild West' It was introduced by the province two decades ago and allows landlords of any building constructed after 1991 to increase rent as they see fit. "This is a very shocking example of how broken the system is," said Coun. Josh Matlow, who chairs the city's tenant issues committee. "Buildings in this province built after 1991 are sort of the Wild West." Matlow, along with Coun. Ana Bailao, are pushing Ontario to change the Residential Tenancies Act (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/city-council-committees-renters-tenants-changes-residential-tenancies-act-1.4049369), especially after CBC Toronto's No Fixed Address (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/the-best-of-no-fixed-address-1.4022761) investigative series revealed that renters across the city were being priced out of their homes. Ontario is currently reviewing the legislation and Matlow says he'd like to sit down with the province when it's rewriting the rules. "Big changes need to be made as to how tenants are treated in this province, so that Toronto doesn't just become a playground for the rich. We want Toronto to be affordable and accessible." Days may be numbered for 1991 rule On Tuesday, Mayor John Tory weighed in with a similar message. "The private sector, in carrying out their own activities with respect to the rents they charge, should be very careful about what they do in instances like this because it can provoke the kind of legislative and policy reaction that is something they say would be very much against the interests of future construction of rental accommodation in the city of Toronto," said Tory. "And that would be a very bad thing for tenants and a very bad thing for the economy. " On Monday, Matlow and Bailao, who chairs the city's affordable housing committee, held a special joint meeting of their two committees at city hall where they presented eight recommendations to help regulate Toronto's rental market. Some of the recommendations include expanding rent control to buildings built after 1991, improving the supply of rental units and building homes in the city's laneways. Premier Kathleen Wynne hinted Tuesday that the days may be numbered for the 1991 rule. "The reality is, that there hasn't been rental built. There have not been rental buildings built in any comprehensive way and so that argument does not actually hold water with me at this point," Wynne said. The councillors' recommendations will be presented to the mayor's executive committee and council in the coming weeks. As for Moorhouse and Merrick, they're going to start looking for a new place to live. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/rent-toronto-condo-tenants-1.4054056