Four major office towers that anchor downtown Vancouver’s Central Business District have been sold to a Chinese buyer.
The Financial Post reports that Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. has acquired a majority stake in the Bentall Centre towers in a deal worth more than $1 billion.
The office tower complex, built from 1969 to 1981, was listed for sale last year by majority owner Quebec-based Ivanhoe Cambridge. Under the deal, Great West Life Assurance will retain its minority ownership of the property.
The buildings have some of Vancouver’s largest office plates, encompassing a total area of approximately 1.5 million square feet when all of the office space is combined. The deal includes One Bentall Centre (86 metres, 22 storeys), Two Bentall Centre (70 metres, 18 storeys), Three Bentall Centre (122 metres, 32 storeys) and Four Bentall Centre (138 metres, 35 storeys).
The newer Bentall Five tower, completed in 2007, is not part of the deal. The 33-storey, 583,000-square-foot office tower was acquired in 2012 by German pension fund Deka Immobilien Investment for a sum of $400 million.
Some of Canada’s largest banks and Vancouver’s most high profile law firms are housed inside the Bentall buildings.
Anbang made international headlines in 2014 when it purchased New York City’s historic Waldorf Astoria hotel for US$1.95 billion.
Such deals are likely aided by the Chinese government’s recently implemented ‘Go Global’ policy. It encourages Chinese companies to invest and operate abroad in an effort to diversify the nation’s economy by reducing its traditional dependence on domestic production and exports.
A spokesperson at Ivanhoe Cambridge was not able to immediately comment on the Bentall Centre transaction. The company also owns and operates Oakridge Centre, Guildford Town Centre, Metropolis at Metrotown and the accompanying Metrotower office towers.
The firm is also spearheading the redevelopment of Oakridge Centre and working with Tsawwassen First Nation to build the Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre, which will have the same square footage as Metropolis at Metrotown.