LaSalle Investment Consortium Makes Canadian Purchase

LaSalle Canada Property Fund was joined by three other firms to acquire Edmonton City Centre, a 1.4 million-square office, retail and parking portfolio.
Edmonton City Centre. Image courtesy of LaSalle Investment Management

LaSalle Investment Management’s core Canadian real estate fund along with three partners has acquired Edmonton City Centre, a 1.4 million-square-foot mixed-use asset in downtown Edmonton, Canada, from Oxford Properties Group. LaSalle Canada Property Fund was joined in the transaction by German-based fund-servicing company Universal-Investment on behalf of Bayerische Versorgungskammer and two managing owners, North American Development Group and Canderel.

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The price was not released, but the Edmonton Journal previously reported the portfolio was expected to sell for more than $300 million. The property includes the Edmonton City Centre retail component and three office buildings—TD Tower, Oxford Tower and Centre Point Place—and spans three city blocks in Edmonton’s central business district. The portfolio includes four parking components with a total of 2,500 spaces.

North American Development Group entities, including CentreCorp Management, will provide property management services and leasing for the ECC retail component. Canderel entities, including Humford Management, will provide property management services and leasing for the non-retail properties in the portfolio. Mortgage origination sourcing and placement for the acquisition was provided by an entity related to Forgestone Capital.

Launched in 2017, the open-ended fund aims to provide Canadian and global institutional investors with immediate exposure to diverse and mature portfolios comprising office, industrial, mixed-use, retail and multifamily assets. John McKinlay, LaSalle Canada CEO, said in a prepared statement the transaction represented a rare opportunity to own a landmark mixed-use asset with a strong tenant roster in the city’s downtown core and aligns well with the open-ended fund’s investment goals.

Downtown growth

Michael Cornelissen, senior vice president of acquisitions for LaSalle Canada, stated in prepared comments that the properties in the portfolio benefit from the growth momentum of the adjacent Ice District sports and entertainment district and light rail transit connections that are supporting urban gentrification and population growth. Residential population in the downtown core has grown from 10,000 in 2008 to approximately 15,000 in 2019, and is projected to have 18,000 residents by 2020. There has also been an increase in residential condominium and rental development, with 1,600 units recently completed, 1,400 units under construction and another 3,100 units proposed for the area near the ECC. LaSalle officials also point to recently completed office developments that are increasing foot traffic in the area.