Menkes announces Sun Life as new partner at the Waterfront Innovation Centre

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TORONTO, April 29, 2020 /CNW/ – Menkes Developments Ltd. (“Menkes”) is pleased to announce that BentallGreenOak, on behalf of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (“Sun Life”), has acquired a 50% interest in the Waterfront Innovation Centre, a 475,000-square-foot office and retail development which neighbours Sugar Beach on Toronto’s eastern waterfront. Sun Life, a longstanding partner of Menkes, is currently a partner at the Company’s landmark One York Street office tower (also known as the Sun Life Financial tower) in Toronto’s South Core.

Waterfront Innovation Centre (CNW Group/Menkes Developments Ltd)
Waterfront Innovation Centre (CNW Group/Menkes Developments Ltd)

The Waterfront Innovation Centre, which broke ground in September 2018, is currently 71% pre-leased, with some notable tenants already on its roster. In 2018, the Company entered into a lease for approximately 260,000 square feet with WPP plc, a global leader in communications services, as the building’s anchor tenant. Menkes also announced in September 2018 that MaRS, Toronto’s fast-growing innovation community, will lease an approximate 55,000-square-foot hub. The building will also include approximately 25,000 square feet of beachfront retail space that is currently available for lease.

“This partnership will further expand our relationship with Sun Life, a valued partner since 2014,” said Peter Menkes, President, Commercial/Industrial. “With One York Street, we reconnected Toronto’s downtown to the waterfront with improved pedestrian infrastructure and a dynamic amenity offering. The Waterfront Innovation Centre represents another city building opportunity for Menkes and Sun Life to revitalize Toronto’s waterfront for the benefit of tenants, residents and visitors to the city.”

The Waterfront Innovation Centre is a partnership between Menkes and BentallGreenOak on behalf of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. (CNW Group/Menkes Developments Ltd)

“We are pleased to expand on our successful partnership with Menkes through the acquisition of the Waterfront Innovation Centre,” said Christina Iacoucci, Managing Partner, Portfolio Management at BentallGreenOak. “This opportunity allows us to continue to support the growth of Toronto’s emerging Downtown South node and build on the vibrant live, work, play community that has emerged on Toronto’s waterfront. It also further demonstrates Sun Life’s commitment to being a long-term investor in Canada’s top cities.”

The state-of-art complex designed by architects Sweeny & Co, will be comprised of two buildings, with three distinct but interconnected components: The Exchange, The Hive, and The Nexus, a collaboration space that will serve as a public square and directly connect the two buildings. It will offer ultramodern amenities, including high-speed broadband networking (fuelled in part by self-generating solar power), floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive collaboration spaces. The complex will further drive economic development with the creation of nearly 3,000 jobs.

Construction of the complex commenced in August 2018 and is well underway. Expected occupancy is 2021.