The Slate-Blackstone Canadian Office Portfolio

In 2005, Slate saw an opportunity hiding in plain sight. On Toronto's Bay Street – a street synonymous with business in Canada – there were a number of overlooked buildings. They sat right beside some of Canada's best-known and most expensive office towers, yet they were viewed as second-tier addresses. 

We saw it differently. If those older buildings could be acquired and repositioned in the eyes of tenants and investors, Slate could unlock a tremendous amount of value. 

That's exactly what we did. 

In partnership with The Blackstone Group, Slate led the purchase of 17 buildings in Toronto, as well as 13 in other Canadian cities, in 21 separate deals. Over five years, Slate completed more than 800 leasing transactions that covered the whole portfolio of 3.2 million square feet. Net operating income nearly tripled. 

By 2011, we saw that most of the value from operating improvements had been realized. And the market for downtown office assets was strong. Believing we could redeploy capital elsewhere and find more growth, we put the portfolio up for sale. 

We sold the buildings to a real estate investment trust for $831.8 million – at the time the largest ever portfolio acquisition by a Canadian REIT. 

Selling reduced our asset base, and cut our management fees, but it was the right decision. 

That's how our vision creates value.