CPPIB, Oxford buy Toronto office building

The partners purchased the headquarters of PortsToronto, which will reinvest the proceeds into infrastructure and other investments.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Oxford Properties Group have teamed up to buy the headquarters of PortsToronto in a deal valued at C$96 million ($70 million; €64 million), the firms said Tuesday.

Toronto-based CPPIB and Oxford, the real estate arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, each have a 50 percent stake in the Toronto Harbour Commission building and its attached surface parking lot, located at the corner of 30 Bay and 60 Harbour Streets.

Built in 1918, the property houses PortsToronto, which manages a local airport, marina and two port terminals. With proceeds from the sale, the federal agency plans to invest in marine safety, environmental protection, community programming and infrastructure, including upkeep and building last-mile logistics around the port.

Oxford started working with the agency in 2012, when it was chosen to redevelop the property, or what is known as the 30 Bay/60 Harbour Project, according to a statement at the time.

“Oxford has been enthusiastic about this site since PortsToronto selected us as their redevelopment partner five years ago,” Michael Turner, an executive vice president at Oxford, said in Tuesday’s statement. “This is an exceptional piece of real estate and we will continue to advance the development of the site to maximize its value and associated benefits to the community.”

The partners plan to incorporate the existing building into a new, unspecified development.

“This acquisition of 30 Bay Street fits well with our Canadian office portfolio strategy, which focuses on key markets such as Toronto,” Peter Ballon, CPPIB’s head of real estate investments, said. “The site's proximity to a major transportation hub and a growing urban residential area make it an attractive future development site.”

Oxford managed about C$24.8 billion in real estate as of December 31, while CPPIB oversaw C$37.7 billion in the asset class, according to their respective websites.