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Oxford Property Group Brings In Canada Pension Plan As Partner On St. John's Terminal

St. John's Terminal, which is one step further into a massive mixed-use conversion

Oxford Property Group has brought in a familiar partner for its St. John's Terminal purchase.

Oxford and Canada Pension Plan entered a joint venture to purchase the south development site of the terminal from Atlas Capital Group and Westbrook Partners for $700M, in a transaction that closed Wednesday. Oxford will manage the redevelopment of the former industrial freight facility and own 52.5%, and CPP will own the remaining 47.5%.

Atlas and Westbrook retain ownership of the north portion of St. John's, and when they agreed to sell the south site last year, Oxford was the only buyer. But Oxford has since brought on CPP, with which it has partnered on four office developments in the past. The joint venture secured $400M in acquisition financing from Deutsche Bank, The Real Deal reports. Cushman & Wakefield brokered the sale and brought on Deutsche Bank for the financing.

Atlas and Westbrook's plans for St. John's Terminal have gone through a multi-year saga over the air rights needed from nearby Pier 40 of Hudson River Park and the shape of the affordable housing portion required under New York's mandatory inclusionary housing policy. After agreeing to tack on 500 affordable units to the 1,500 market-rate ones, the JV appeared to have put the final question marks behind it when it purchased Pier 40's air rights in May for $100M — money that will fund critical repairs for the crumbling pier.

With the site now divided between two development groups, it is unclear just how the ambitious mixed-use development will be split between office, retail, hotel and multifamily. According to TRD, the air rights deal exempted Westbrook and Atlas from any affordable housing mandate. Oxford and CPP said in a statement that they will release updated plans for their site in the second half of 2018.