Province Creates a More Sustainable Future for MaRS Property
Ontario Government to Acquire an Interest in MaRS Phase 2 Building
The provincial government has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire an interest in the MaRS Phase 2 Building in Toronto.
The government engaged an expert panel, which recommended that Alexandria Real Estate's interests be purchased. The panel consists of two highly experienced individuals; Michael Nobrega, former CEO of OMERS and the Chair of the Ontario Centre of Excellence; and Carol Stephenson, retired Dean of the Ivey School of Business.
The agreement, which will undergo further review for value by the expert panel, will allow greater flexibility on lease rates, and the terms and types of tenants for the MaRS building. This will increase occupancy revenues and create long-term financial stability.
The conditional agreement is between Infrastructure Ontario and the building's developer, Alexandria Real Estate. This is the first step in the process, and the details and conditions of the agreement will take several months to finalize, pending substantial due diligence.
Infrastructure Ontario's due diligence to this point, including a third party appraisal from Ernst & Young (EY), confirms that the government's investment of $308.81 million is less than the fair market value.
- In 2011, Infrastructure Ontario provided a $224 million loan to MaRS Phase 2 for the construction of a medical lab building at the southeast corner of University Avenue and College Street in Toronto.
- With this purchase, Ontario will have invested $308.81 million (as of September 24, 2014 debt service guarantee payments), which includes a $224 million loan for Phase 2 and a debt service payment that has cost to date $3.61 million; $16.2 million that MaRS used to initially purchase the land; and a $65 million interest that the developer had in the property.
- MaRS is located at the heart of Toronto’s Discovery District, a two square kilometre area of the city that includes Canada’s largest research university and nine affiliated, world-renowned hospitals ranked second in the world for research output.
“Our government wants to unlock the potential of the Phase 2 building and ensure that the maximum return on our investment is realized. Based on the advice of the expert panel, we believe it is in the best interest of Ontario to increase flexibility for building tenancy and revenues through the acquisition of this interest.”
“On behalf of the government, Infrastructure Ontario has negotiated a conditional agreement to purchase ARE’s interest in MaRS Phase 2. It was signed based on the recommendation of an independent panel of experts. This is an important step that will protect the public interest.”
“This step will enable the government to have the flexibility it needs to realize the full potential of the MaRS district.”
Michael Nobrega and Carol Stephenson