The sale of downtown Vancouver’s four-tower Bentall Centre office complex, located at 505 Burrard St, has just been announced. The complex will be purchased by a joint venture between the US-based Blackstone Property Partners (BPP) and Hudson Pacific Properties. Even though it’s only March, this acquisition is expected to be one of the largest commercial real estate sales in B.C. as of 2019.
The details of the sale haven’t been released yet. So far we know that a BPP affiliate will own 80% of the complex, while Hudson Pacific will own the remaining 20%. Hudson Pacific will be responsible for day-to-day operations, while BPP will act as the managing partner. While the total monetary value of the deal is currently unknown, there are some clues that can give us an idea.
The Bentall Centre’s previous ownership
The Bentall Centre was sold previously to the Chinese corporation, Anbang Insurance Group. It was sold for a record-breaking (and record holding) $1.06 billion in 2016. But fraud charges led to the arrest and 14-year prison sentence of Anbang’s founder and chairman in May 2017. At that point the Chinese government seized Anbang’s assets. The Bentall Centre was one of those assets.
It would be easy to assume the sale would exceed $1.06 billion. But despite the Bentall Centre’s prime location, the towers are fairly old, ranging from 32 to 52 years old.
Hudson Pacific’s first entry into the Vancouver market
This is the first real estate investment in Vancouver by the Los Angeles-based Hudson Pacific. They own over 17 million square feet of commercial real estate in the western United States.
“We have always viewed Vancouver, with its proximity to Seattle, growing tech and media industries, high quality of life and favorable immigration policies as a natural expansion market for our office and studio portfolios,” said Victor Coleman, chairman, and CEO of Hudson Pacific.
Coleman also stated that this acquisition will give Hudson Pacific the opportunity to create an additional office tower. Once completed, it would become one of the few remaining large scale office development opportunities in downtown Vancouver.