Four massive office towers built from 1969 to 1981 and provided Vancouver’s central business district with a distinct core are up for sale. The four original Bentall Centre towers are set to be listed in the market by the property’s majority owner, Quebec-based Ivanhoe Cambridge.
According to the Vancouver Sun, the transaction for the towers could reach over a billion dollars given the scale of the towers and the central location within Vancouver’s business community.
The buildings being sold include 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). Bentall Five, completed in 2007, is not part of the agreement as it has different owners who purchased the property for $400 million in 2012, the Sun reports.
The four towers have some of the city’s largest office plates and consist of approximately 1.5 million square feet of office space, in addition to 53,000 square feet of underground space with retail and food services. With Bentall 5 included, the entire Bentall Centre complex has a square footage that is almost equivalent to New York City’s Empire State Building.
Some of Canada’s largest banks and Vancouver’s most high profile law firms are housed inside the Bentall buildings.
A spokesperson at Ivanhoe Cambridge’s headquarters in Montreal was not able to immediately respond to a call from Vancity Buzz for further comment.
Other than Bentall Centre, Ivanhoe Cambridge owns a number of other major commercial properties in the Metro Vancouver region such as Oakridge Centre, Richmond Centre, Guildford Town Centre, and 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.
The sale of the Bentall Centre complex comes at a time when the local office market is experiencing a significant flux. Over 4.5 million square feet of new office space is being built and another 3.6 million square feet through 14 developments have been approved.
Due to the number and scale of new office developments being built, Downtown Vancouver’s office vacancy has reached 9.8 per cent as of early-September – the highest since late-2004, according to a recent report by Avison Young.
If Bentall Centre is sold to a new owner before the end of the year, it will become the second major transaction of a prominent piece of downtown Vancouver commercial real estate this year. Earlier this summer, Concord Pacific purchased the six-acre, 510-room Westin Bayshore Hotel on the Coal Harbour waterfront for the redevelopment potential of the property.