Telus cashing in on Vancouver’s robust office market

Demand for space in the city is making office building sales an especially lucrative prospect

Telus cashing in on Vancouver’s robust office market

A downtown Vancouver office tower assessed at a value of approximately $425 million a year ago is set to be sold by Telus Corp., a mere 3 years after beginning its operations in the city.

With a floor area of around 500,000 square feet, the office property will net Telus roughly $170 million from its share of the building, the company stated during the announcement of the sale late last week.

The telecoms giant explained that the move was in response to the “favourable real estate opportunity” presented by the city’s vibrant commercial property market. Telus and Westbank Corp. jointly own the building.

“[Westbank was] looking forward to an opportunity to monetize. For us it was more a ‘nice to have,’” Telus chief financial officer Doug French told The Globe and Mail.

French added that the company, which owns multiple assets nationwide, is contemplating more sales in the near future.

“We’ll definitely continue to look at future real estate opportunities,” French said. “We do have land throughout Canada that could be monetized at some point and we’ll look at all of that in due course.”

Neither of the owners revealed the terms of the deal or the name of the Vancouver office building’s buyer, only saying that the sale is projected to close “in the next week or two.”

Read more: Investment in Canada continues to exhibit robust activity, demand

The health of Vancouver’s office segment is reflective of overall positive commercial property trends across Canada.

In Toronto, a booming commercial segment attracted total investment value of around $5.6 billion – across a total of 574 investment property sales transactions valued at over $1 million – in the last quarter alone, buttressing the city’s already robust housing market.

In Montreal, the availability of purchasable or leasable industrial space has declined to its lowest levels in over 15 years. The city’s industrial availability rate during Q2 2018 was 5.3%, with a total of 829,399 square feet of newly constructed or previously vacant industrial space occupied or absorbed. This was far above the 143,377 square feet of new space injected into the market during the quarter.


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