Allied and RioCan advance commercial development of The Well

Allied Properties REIT and RioCan REIT today announced plans to proceed with full development of the commercial component of The Well. Index Exchange has agreed to lease up to 200,000 square feet of gross leasable area (“GLA”) at The Well Tower, 8 Spadina Avenue, an office tower that Allied and RioCan will construct on the northwest corner of Front Street West and Spadina Avenue. Another high-calibre office user has agreed to lease 125,000 square feet of GLA at 460 Front Street West, a separate office component that will form part of The Well. The commitments by the two office users represent 30% of the office GLA at The Well. Allied and RioCan are also finalizing lease transactions with two other office users for 533,752 square feet of office GLA at The Well Tower, which would bring the leased area of the office component of The Well to 80%.

A rendering of The Well. Image via RioCan, Allied.
 Image via RioCan / Allied.

The Well is a mixed-use residential, commercial and retail development located in Toronto’s downtown west. Each of Allied and RioCan owns an undivided 50% interest in the commercial component of the project. On completion, this will be comprised of the following:

  • approximately 1.067 million square feet of office GLA;
  • approximately 425,000 square feet of retail GLA;
  • approximately 700 underground commercial parking spaces;
  • significant third-party digital signage entitlement on the northwest corner of Front and Spadina; and
  • the energy-storage facility necessary to extend Enwave’s heating and cooling network to Toronto’s Downtown West.

Allied and RioCan are jointly developing the commercial component of The Well. On completion, Allied will manage the office component, and RioCan will manage the retail component.

As part of a dynamic downtown mixed-use community, The Well is expected to include approximately 1.46 million square feet of residential GLA across six buildings. The residential component of The Well will include approximately 1,800 residences consisting of a mix of both rental and condominium units. RioCan intends to maintain a 50% ownership interest in the largest residential tower of the development, consisting of 590 purpose-built residential rental units.

The underground excavation for The Well Tower is now complete, and the construction below grade has commenced. Construction of The Well Tower and the remainder of the commercial component above grade is now expected to continue without interruption.

The Well Tower is registered under the LEED® green building rating system and is targeting a LEED® Platinum certification, as is the remainder of the office space at The Well. It will include best-in-class operational, environmental, life-safety and health and wellness systems. Construction of the commercial component of The Well is scheduled for completion in late 2021 with rent commencing in 2022.

Index Exchange has agreed to lease up to 200,000 square feet of GLA for a term of 12 years commencing in 2022. Index Exchange is a global advertising marketplace where premium digital media companies sell their ad impressions transparently and in real time. Founded in 2001 and financed internally, Index Exchange has evolved into a profitable and rapidly growing global advertising marketplace.

“Although we’ve grown globally at a rapid pace over the last few years, our commitment to Toronto has never wavered,” said Andrew Casale, President and CEO of Index Exchange. “Our new downtown headquarters demonstrates our growing investment in technology and engineering talent in and across the Toronto area, and we’re confident this new development will be a benefit to the city at large.”

The other office user has agreed to lease 125,000 square feet of GLA for a term of 15 years commencing in 2022. These premises will form a separate and distinct office component of the project with a dedicated entrance off Front Street West.

“We’re delighted that Index Exchange has selected The Well Tower as the location for its global headquarters,” said Michael Emory, President & CEO of Allied. “As at King Portland Centre, a joint intensification project between Allied and RioCan that is now fully leased and nearing completion, the workspace at The Well will be built and operated with a view to sustaining the environment and fostering human wellness, diversity and creativity in an evolving global city. Index Exchange will be an excellent partner for Allied and RioCan in achieving these city-building goals.”

“The significant momentum of our office leasing is a recognition of the unique attributes of The Well,” said Edward Sonshine, CEO of RioCan. “RioCan and Allied have created a true mixed-use community in the heart of downtown Toronto. The Well will represent a vibrant community where both the office users and residents will benefit from a singular and dynamic retail experience drawing the look and feel of King Street West into an open-air environment. Its centerpiece will be a 90,000 square-foot food market that will serve as a hub not only for The Well, but the greater downtown Toronto community.

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