July 5, 2018 10:56 pm
Updated: July 5, 2018 11:40 pm

Edmonton Tower sold to AIMCo, city to receive $5M by giving up right to buy building

The Edmonton Tower in Ice District marked its official opening Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

Vinesh Pratap/ Global News
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The skyscraper that houses the City of Edmonton in Ice District has been sold and even though the city was neither a buyer nor a seller, the Edmonton Tower transaction will result in the city gaining a cool $5 million.

According to a news release issued on Thursday, the Katz Group sold the 27-storey office tower to the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo). Terms of the deal were not released but sources at city hall told Global News the city had an encumbrance on the building, meaning it had first right of refusal to purchase it.

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According to the sources, by allowing the Katz Group to go to the open market, the city will receive $5 million for giving up the right to buy it.

AIMCo, an Alberta Crown corporation that manages investment funds, said the deal “demonstrates a clear affirmation of our confidence in Edmonton’s downtown real estate market.”

“Growing our portfolio of high-quality office properties in Edmonton offers our clients the unique opportunity to be a part of the rejuvenation of the downtown core,” said Micheal Dal Bello, senior vice-president of real estate at AIMCo.

The Edmonton Tower is one of the cornerstones of the Ice District development plan, which is centred around the Edmonton Oilers’ arena, Rogers Place, which opened in 2016.

Watch below: On March 1, 2018, Jack Haskins filed this report after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman offered praise for Edmonton and Ice District.

READ MORE: Edmonton tower takes shape, occupancy questions remain

Developers’ plans for Ice District include condos, a public plaza, 300,000 square feet of retail space and 1.3 million square feet of office space. The development plan is led by ICE District Properties, a joint venture of the Katz Group and ONE Properties.

“We are pleased to find a buyer in AIMCo who understands the Edmonton market and we are confident they will do a great job as owner of the building,” said Jurgen Schreiber, senior managing director of the Katz Group, on behalf of Ice District Properties. “As we continue development of Ice District it is positive to see world-class investors such as AIMCo interested in the project and the big-picture vision for Edmonton’s downtown.”

The City of Edmonton leased space in the Edmonton Tower in order to move 2,300 employees there. The city said the move will allow citizens to access all city services at one location, something city officials believe will improve services and the permit process.

In addition to the Edmonton Tower, Ice District is changing the complexion of the city’s skyline by building the Stantec Tower and the J. W. Marriott tower while plans are being finalized for a fourth tower planned for the former downtown Greyhound station.

Watch below: On May 8, 2018, Vinesh Pratap got a look inside the J.W. Marriott tower.

READ MORE: OEG approaches City of Edmonton on partnership for Ice District plaza

A plaza is also planned for south of Rogers Place that will be surrounded by the new high-rise towers. Just last month, Oilers Entertainment Group — a subsidiary of the Katz Group — approached the City of Edmonton to see if it would be willing to contribute public dollars to the project.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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