Brookfield Looks to Sell Stake in Toronto Office Tower Project

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is looking to sell a 50% stake in an office tower it’s developing in Toronto’s financial district, according to people familiar with the matter.

Brookfield has valued the north tower of its Bay Adelaide Centre office complex at about C$650 million ($508 million) and has received a number of bids for a half ownership interest in it, one of the people said. The tower, which was announced in 2018, will have Bank of Nova Scotia as an anchor tenant.

The potential sale comes at a time when the adoption of work-from-home policies has many analysts questioning the future of office buildings. Tech companies including Facebook Inc. and Canada’s Shopify Inc. have said that at least some employees will be able to work from home indefinitely.

Toronto has joined cities across North America in seeing a wave of homebuying in suburbs, as people bet that proximity to the office will no longer be as important as it was before the pandemic.

Claire Holland, a spokeswoman for Brookfield Asset Management, declined to comment on the sale process.

In 2018, Brookfield sold a 50% stake in the east and west towers of the same development, which together have more than three times the square footage of the planned north tower, for C$850 million.

Outside of the tech industry, employers and employees have signaled some ambivalence about a work-from-home future. Deutsche Bank AG is considering a policy that would allow most staff to work from home after the pandemic, but only about two days a week, Bloomberg reported last month. A recent survey by Morgan Stanley research strategists showed most European workers would be fine with that.

Canada’s major banks told most of their head office staff in March to work from home, but it isn’t clear what they will do when vaccines are available and the pandemic is over.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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