About 1.2 million square feet of prime Toronto real estate has been put up for sale – the headquarters of Ontario’s provincially-owned electricity company.
Ontario Power Generation’s head office at 700 University Ave. in Toronto “was listed for sale and placed on the market on October 11, 2016,” a recent filing declared.
“OPG is not proposing to recover the transaction costs or tax implications from ratepayers,” says the document, which adds that “the portion of the proceeds from the sale equal to the after-tax accounting gain on sale, net of transaction costs, will be transferred to the Province.”
The answer was given as part of an OPG application to the Ontario Energy Board. The company is seeking payments that would increase an average family’s electricity bill by approximately $1.05 a month over the next five years, for a total increase of $5.25 a month by 2022.
The Liberal government, OPG’s sole shareholder, is seeking to sell the company’s chief office building and pocket the cash for an infrastructure spending campaign. The government has been mulling the sale since 2013.
OPG spokesman Neal Kelly confirmed the building has been on the market for several weeks, as directed by the energy minister. He did not give an asking price.
“The market will dictate what the ultimate sale price of the building will be, as is the case in any commercial transaction such as this,” Kelly said. “We’re going through a process so we’ll let that process play out.”
That process is being spearheaded by OPG and Infrastructure Ontario, Kelly said. In the meantime, employees have already been informed of the coming transaction, he added.
OPG occupies just four of the 19 floors at 700 University. The company leases the excess office space to tenants who are on long-term leases, Kelly said.
Kelly said the move will have “little effect” on workers currently stationed at 700 University, because OPG is leasing its floors back, as well as the shopping concourse at the foot of the building.
Meanwhile, a nearby Toronto parking garage OPG owns is also up for sale, at 40 Murray St. The site of the company’s former coal-fired power plant in Mississauga will be sold through a different process, said Kelly.
The Liberal government sold the LCBO’s head office lands in Toronto earlier this year. According to the Ontario Gazette, just over $246 million from that sale was deposited into the province’s Trillium Trust, which is the fund that pays for transit and other infrastructure projects.
The Gazette also showed that $3,553,741 was spent on costs related to the transaction.