The OMERS Family is Moving
OMERS is moving all its Toronto employees, including Oxford Properties Group HQ staff, to Ernst & Young Tower, Oxford’s new development at 100 Adelaide W, consolidating operations under one roof (a super-slick roof that's 600 feet in the air and shaped like a shard).
OMERS will be taking 368k SF at EY Tower, space for Borealis Infrastructure, OMERS Capital Markets, OMERS Private Equity, OMERS Strategic Investments and Oxford Properties, which is carrying out development of EY Tower, slated to open in 2017. At the moment OMERS and its subsidiaries are based at Royal Bank Plaza and 1 University. Consolidating will create “collaboration opportunities,” Oxford marketing and communications VP Claire McIntyre tells us.
The majority of OMERS’ Toronto office leases were set to end in 2017, Claire tells us. It so happened those expiries "teed up nicely” with when EY Tower was scheduled to be completed. “And certainly if you have a real estate group it makes sense to locate in your own assets.” EY Tower—currently at the podium level of construction on Adelaide between Bay and York streets—will be 40 storeys, with 900k SF of leasable space and 23.5k SF floor plates. The building, targeting LEED Platinum, will be a new addition to Oxford’s 2.4M SF Richmond-Adelaide Centre.
Royal Bank Plaza and 1 University now face significant vacancies. But Claire doesn’t think the older towers—both owned and managed by Oxford, which has taken the buildings through major retrofits and energy efficiency upgrades in recent years—will have any troubles luring replacement tenants, given their AAA locations. “They’re attractive buildings and consistently very well-leased."
The OMERS deal means 100 EY Tower is now about 90% leased. Ernst & Young is the building's lead tenant, and TMX Group is also a major tenant. Six floors remain available for lease out of 40, according to Claire, who says it'll be gratifying for Oxford to have its new HQ in an iconic-looking development that it's created. “There’s a pride you can have as a developer when anybody comes to meet with your enterprise and they walk through the doors of something you’ve built from the ground up.”