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Ivanhoé buys stake in Montreal complex

The real estate arm of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec will spend $400 million to buy the 50 percent interest of its partner in the renowned Place Ville Marie.

Ivanhoé Cambridge will acquire the 50 percent interest in Montreal’s iconic Place Ville Marie held by Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo), marking the investor’s first step towards expanding its Montreal real estate portfolio. Previously, the mixed-use property had been jointly owned by AIMCo and Ivanhoé Cambridge.

The transaction, valued at more than $400 million, currently is awaiting approval from the federal competition bureau. A press release from Ivanhoé Cambridge revealed additional plans to revitalize the complex, valuing that investment at more than $100 million.

The acquisition kicks off plans by the real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec to broaden its investments in downtown Montreal and throughout Quebec. According to a statement from chief executive officer Daniel Fournier, Ivanhoé Cambridge will reveal additional major real estate investments in the city this fall. Over the past 18 months, its overall approved investments in Quebec have exceeded $1 billion.

The Place Ville Marie complex, designed by IM Pei and Henry Cobb, features a cruciform configuration located on 14 acres of land. The five towers house nearly 2.4 million square feet of office space and 150 tenants, as well as a shopping promenade and direct access to the intercity train system and underground metro network below.

“Place Ville Marie is more than just a building; it is at the real estate core of the city and, more than ever, the cornerstone of our Montreal property portfolio,” said Fournier. “It is Quebec's premier office address and a symbol of the collective heritage of Montreal and Quebec.”

The complex is scheduled to receive LEED Silver certification in 2014 upon completion of a modernization and upgrading program. Potential renovations by Ivanhoé Cambridge include replacing electrical distribution infrastructures and updating elevator cars and controls.