Chinese owners of Vancouver's Bentall towers looking to sell: reports

Dec 21 2018, 8:28 am

After Vancouver’s Bentall towers were purchased in 2016 by Beijing-based insurer Anbang, talks are now reportedly in progress between Anbang and Canadian banks and commercial realtors, regarding a potential sale of the four buildings that it owns in the Bentall Centre office complex.

According Asian Real Estate business website Mingtiandi, “should Anbang follow through on the reported Canadian discussions, it would make for the company’s first disposal of a Canadian real estate asset, after Anbang had spent an estimated $1.96 billion buying offices and retirement homes in the North American nation from 2015 through 2017.”

Through the seizure of Anbang’s assets, Beijing owns four towers of the Bentall Centre office complex in downtown Vancouver, worth an estimated over $1 billion. The cluster of office towers is the largest office tower complex in Metro Vancouver with about two million sq. ft. of floor area.

The office tower complex is said to be worth over $1 billion, with Anbang acquiring a controlling stake of $600 million in 2016.

The Chinese government is also the new owner of Retirement Concepts, a Vancouver-based chain of senior homes with two dozen properties in BC, Alberta, and Quebec. The sale of the company, worth over $1 billion, to Anbang was approved by the Canadian federal government last year.

Retirement Concepts has 10 properties within the Metro Vancouver region, and it is one of the BC provincial government’s highest-billing providers of assisted living and residential care services, with a $86.5-million bill to provincial taxpayers during the 2016-15 fiscal year, according to the Globe & Mail.

In 2017, Brookfield Canada Office Properties sold its 30-storey office tower at 777 Bay Street in downtown Toronto to Anbang for $515 million.

And two years prior, Anbang acquired 70 York Street, a downtown Toronto office building that houses HSBC Canada offices, for US$75 million.

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