Montreal project will feature state-of-the-art office tower and commercial space, create digitally-connected retail shopping experience
MONTREAL, April 12, 2021 – HBC and RioCan Real Estate Trust (TSX: REI.UN) (“RioCan” - and together with HBC, the “Partners”) have unveiled a plan to transform the Downtown Montreal Hudson’s Bay store, while introducing a forward-thinking office tower and work environment to the city’s central business district.
This project is aligned with the Partners’ strategy to maximize and enhance their well-located and robust portfolio of real estate assets. Through a longstanding joint venture, HBC (79.8%) and RioCan (20.2%), the Partners own or control 10 properties comprising over 3.0 million square feet in Canada, including the subject property. The cost of this project will be shared on a proportionate basis.
“As consumers continue to evolve the way they live, work and shop, we are committed to capitalizing on these shifts, while unleashing the full potential of our prime properties throughout North America and reinvigorating the urban districts in which they are situated,” said Ian Putnam, President and CEO, HBC Properties and Investments. “HBCPI is excited to lead the way to unlocking the value and potential of our joint venture portfolio for our most significant flagship properties throughout Canada.”
Jonathan Gitlin, President and CEO, RioCan, said, “RioCan is looking forward to the transformation of this iconic property to meet evolving consumer and office user expectations. This highly attractive, transit-oriented site in the heart of Downtown Montreal will be revitalized and expanded with resilient uses and offer forward thinking amenities driving value creation for the long-term.”
The Downtown Montreal mixed-use real estate project will include construction of a 25-storey office tower of approximately one million square feet and the transformation of Hudson’s Bay’s existing retail space. HBC is working closely with the City of Montreal and other stakeholders to finalize details. The project is expected to be underway by 2023, with completion targeted for 2027. The Hudson’s Bay Sainte-Catherine Street store will continue to operate throughout the construction process.
“We are reimagining the Hudson’s Bay retail experience in Downtown Montreal, creating a digitally-connected store with elevated service and a curated assortment to showcase the best of what Hudson’s Bay has to offer,” said Iain Nairn, President and CEO of Hudson's Bay. “This project presents an opportunity to establish a multi-functional store that continues to offer the brands and services that Canadians trust us to deliver, while developing new uses for space - such as showrooms or concierge services - that reflect the modern lifestyles of our customers and the vibrancy of Downtown Montreal.”
The office tower, to be clad in a glass curtain, will be among the most avant-garde in Montreal and will represent the future of the workplace. The Partners will focus on employee well-being and concern for the environment, while respecting the heritage of the flagship building.
The new tower will provide the type of flexibility and space required by high-growth businesses to create first-class healthy workplaces. Taking a state-of-the-art approach to design and aligning with LEED standards, it will feature large, flexible floor plates of up to 60,000 square feet, high ceilings and a biophilic design that increases occupant connectivity to the natural environment through maximum exposure of natural light, among other features.
The heritage building’s original architecture will be protected. This includes restoration of the facades, the reopening of windows, as well as the return of showcases to their original state. Four tiered terraces will be created on the four green roofs of the office tower. The main entrance and tallest part of the tower will be on the de Maisonneuve Boulevard side.
In partnership with RioCan, HBC Properties and Investments is leading the way to unlock the value of the HBC portfolio of properties.
“The Hudson’s Bay redevelopment project represents the next chapter in HBC’s retail history and its continued commitment to Montreal,” said Richard Hamori, COO, Streetworks Development, the real estate development arm of HBC Properties and Investments. “We intend to honour the heritage of our flagship building, as well as that of historic Sainte-Catherine Street, while expressing our confidence in the future of Montreal’s downtown. This project is another step towards our goal of maximizing the value of our portfolio of downtown properties throughout North America, while diversifying our holdings to a mix of retail, residential and office space.”
All components of the project will benefit from existing connections to Montreal’s metro system and the upcoming opening of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM)’s McGill station.
HBC has already been working with the City of Montreal for several months to make its project an exemplary model that meets current regulations. It will cooperate closely with the public consultation announced by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal.
Built in 1891, the former Morgan’s store was purchased by HBC in 1960 and renamed The Bay in 1972. It is located across from the prestigious Phillips Square and is considered one of the most iconic stores in HBC's portfolio.
HBC, LP is a holding company of portfolio businesses that operate at the intersection of retail and real estate. A long-term investor in iconic companies, HBC’s valuable assets span top markets and prime locations across North America.
Among HBC’s portfolio companies are three distinguished retailers: Saks Fifth Avenue, a premier luxury retailer; Hudson’s Bay, Canada’s preeminent multi-category retailer; and Saks OFF 5TH, a leading off-price retailer.
HBC owns or controls, either entirely or with joint venture partners, approximately 40 million square feet of gross leasable area. HBC Properties and Investments, the company’s real estate and investments portfolio business, manages these assets along with additional real estate offerings, including Streetworks Development, its property development firm that creates transformative multi-use environments.
Founded in 1670, HBC is North America’s longest continually operating company and is headquartered in Toronto and New York. For more information visit: www.hbc.com.
RioCan is one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts. RioCan owns, manages and develops retail-focused, increasingly mixed-use properties located in prime, high-density transit-oriented areas where Canadians want to shop, live and work. As at December 31, 2020, our portfolio is comprised of 223 properties with an aggregate net leasable area of approximately 38.3 million square feet (at RioCan's interest) including office, residential rental and 14 development properties. To learn more about us, please visit www.riocan.com.
Forward looking information – RioCan
This News Release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. This information reflects RioCan’s objectives, our strategies to achieve those objectives, as well as statements with respect to management’s beliefs, estimates and intentions concerning anticipated future events or expectations that are not historical facts. Forward-looking information generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “outlook”, “objective”, “may”, “will”, “would, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “should” “plan”, “continue”, or similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or events.
Such forward-looking information reflects management’s current beliefs and is based on information currently available to management. All forward-looking information in this News Release is qualified by these cautionary statements.
Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future events or performance and, by its nature, is based on RioCan’s current estimates and assumptions, which are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described in the “Risks and Uncertainties” section in RioCan's MD&A for the period ended December 31, 2020 and in our most recent Annual Information Form, which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the forward-looking information contained in this News Release.
Although the forward-looking information contained in this News Release is based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that actual results will be consistent with this forward-looking information. The forward-looking statements contained in this News Release are made as of the date hereof, and should not be relied upon as representing RioCan’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this News Release. Management undertakes no obligation, except as required by applicable law, to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.