TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - February 28, 2017) - Slate Office REIT (TSX: SOT.UN) (the "REIT"), a leading owner of office properties in Canada, announced today the completion of a long-term 154,018 square foot lease with Johnson Insurance at the newly renamed Johnson Building (formerly, Fort William Building), located at 10 Factory Lane in St. John's, Newfoundland.
Johnson Insurance currently occupies five floors of the seven-storey building through a sublease arrangement with Bell Aliant, which leases 100 percent of the building. The building serves as Johnson Insurance's national head office.
The new Johnson Insurance lease has an initial term of ten years and commences upon the expiry of Bell Aliant's head lease in November 2020. The new lease provides Johnson Insurance an option, exercisable prior to December 31, 2018, to occupy an additional approximately 40,000 square feet in the Johnson Building.
"St. John's has been home to Johnson Insurance for 130 years, and we remain committed to being an active and proud part of the city and province for another decade. We truly appreciate just how incredibly collaborative the City of St. John's and the team at Slate has been to work with," said Ken Bennett, President of Johnson Insurance.
"Johnson Insurance is an important member of the St. John's community and we are happy to see them taking over primary tenancy of our building," said Scott Antoniak, Chief Executive Officer of the REIT. "We are thrilled that Johnson Insurance will continue to be a great tenant of the REIT in downtown St. John's and look forward to continuing to build our relationship."
This lease transaction reflects the REIT's proactive approach to addressing existing lease maturities within its portfolio, well in advance of their maturity.
"We pride ourselves on working with high-quality tenants to find leasing arrangements that add value for them and for the REIT's unitholders by creating long-term income streams, and this is a great example of that strategy in action," Mr. Antoniak added.
"As the largest office property owner in St. John's, we also know the importance of adding value for our neighbours in the region through investments such as our sponsorship of the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier," Mr. Antoniak concluded. "We're excited about the future of St. John's and excited to be a part of it."
Slate Management Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Slate Asset Management L.P. ("Slate"), is the REIT's manager.
About Johnson Insurance
Since Johnson Insurance opened its doors in Newfoundland and Labrador over 130 years ago, it has grown to represent customers across Canada. Johnson Insurance believes in putting people first, looking beyond the things people insure, to the people themselves. Through all life's ups and downs, twists and turns, Johnson treats customers with compassion and care-the way they'd want to be treated.
Johnson Insurance is a proud part of RSA Canada. Johnson Inc. is headquartered in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. For more information, visit www.johnson.ca.
About Slate Office REIT (TSX: SOT.UN)
Slate Office REIT is an open-ended real estate investment trust. The REIT's portfolio currently comprises 35 strategic and well-located real estate assets located primarily across Canada's major population centres. The REIT is focused on maximizing value through internal organic rental and occupancy growth and strategic acquisitions. Visit slateofficereit.com to learn more.
About Slate Asset Management L.P.
Slate Asset Management L.P. is a leading real estate investment platform with approximately $4.0 billion in assets under management. Slate is a value-oriented manager and a significant sponsor of all of its private and publicly-traded investment vehicles, which are tailored to the unique goals and objectives of its investors. The firm's careful and selective investment approach creates long-term value with an emphasis on capital preservation and outsized returns. Slate is supported by exceptional people, flexible capital and a proven ability to originate and execute on a wide range of compelling investment opportunities. Visit slateam.com to learn more.