Manulife Real Estate, the global real estate arm of Canada-based Manulife Financial Corporation, one of the largest life insurance companies in the world and parent company of John Hancock Financial in the United States, has acquired three new real estate assets totalling $555 million in the core real estate markets of Toronto, San Diego and the New York City Metropolitan Area. Not only do these new acquisitions bring the value of Manulife’s global real estate portfolio to C$7.5 billion, they mark an entry into the New York City Metropolitan Area.
York Mills Centre, Toronto York Mills Centre, a four-building office complex in Toronto, was acquired for C$161 million from Ivanhoé Cambridge in a deal that closed December 12, 2011. Located in Toronto’s north office corridor, the complex consists of 509,000 square feet of Class-A office space and 40,000 square feet of retail space. The buildings – two at seven stories, one at six stories, and one at five stories – were constructed in phases, between 1985 and 1992.
Totalling more than seven million square feet, with a value of approximately C$1.9 billion, Manulife’s commercial real estate portfolio in Toronto is the largest in the company’s C$7.5 billion global real estate portfolio. The managed portfolio includes 41 office and industrial properties totalling 7.6 million square feet throughout the Greater Toronto Area, most notably the landmark, 1.3 million-square-foot, Manulife Centre mixed-use complex in the city’s Bloor-Yorkville district which the Company developed in the early 1970s. RBC Capital Markets Realty Inc. in Toronto acted as broker on the York Mills Centre transaction.
Seaview Corporate Center, San Diego Located in Sorrento Mesa, the most robust Class-A submarket in San Diego County, Seaview Corporate Center sits atop 18 acres overlooking Sorrento Valley and the Pacific Ocean. This 355,800-square-foot, four-building office complex was acquired for US$109 million from Pacific Office Properties and Angelo, Gordon & Co. in a deal that closed December 12, 2011.
Manulife has a longstanding presence in the California real estate landscape, having first entered the market in the early 1970s with properties in San Diego and Los Angeles, including 865 South Figueroa and 515 South Figueroa, two Class-A downtown office towers which Manulife developed in the 1980s. The company entered the San Francisco market in September 2010 with the acquisition of Market Center, followed with the purchase of Hawthorne Plaza in July 2011, both prime downtown office properties. Today, the company’s California real estate portfolio consists of 29 office and industrial properties totalling almost five million square feet with a value of approximately US$1.2 billion.
10 Exchange Place, Jersey City (New York City Metropolitan Area) This 748,000-square-foot, 30-story office tower in Jersey City, was acquired for US$285 million from an investment group advised by Invesco Real Estate on December 20, 2011.
A trophy office tower and skyline landmark on Jersey City’s Hudson River waterfront, 10 Exchange Place was built in 1988. LEED-Gold and Energy Star certified, 10 Exchange Place was the 2011 recipient of “The Outstanding Building of the Year” award in its size category from the Building Owners and Managers Association. The acquisition represents Manulife’s entry into the New York City Metropolitan real estate investment market and its second acquisition in New Jersey. The company purchased a 415-suite multi-family residential complex, Plaza Square, in New Brunswick in December 2010 for US$112.5 million.