Airport Corporate Centre leasing deal biggest ever for JLL

Jones Lang LaSalle is celebrating its new status as exclusive leasing agent for the 1.3 million square-foot Airport Corporate Centre in Mississauga.
The assignment, its single largest mandate since JLL set up shop in Canada a decade ago, comes after a successful run with the centre’s owner, the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan(HOOPP). “We list a 700,000 sq. ft. complex with HOOPP already, the AeroCentre Complex, and we have taken it to 95% full,” said Scott Watson, senior vice-president of GTA Agency Leasing with Jones Lang LaSalle.
The work of JLL agents filling Toronto’s Telus building also played a role in securing the contract, he said. “A good history, good track record and because of our growing platform and our marketing efforts they wanted a little more horsepower behind it so they turned to us to help,” he said.
How do you eat an elephant?
Finding tenants for 1.3 million sq. ft. of space in the suburban office market sounds like a tall order, but Watson notes that HOOPP’s Airport Corporate Centre, which will officially be called Spectrum Square, will be a gradual rollout.
“It will be split over seven buildings,” he said. “The goal is to get phase one, which is 135,000 sq. ft., out of the ground this year.” JLL’s marching orders are to find a head tenant for that first building. “The good news is that they will build it with as little as 25,000 sq. ft. of that pre-leased.”
The plan calls for a total of seven office buildings between 130,000 sq. ft. and 250,000 sq. ft. plus about 75,000 sq. ft. of restaurant space in a six or seven year build out. Groundbreaking for the first building and retail is scheduled for this April.

Artists rendering of Spectrum Square in the Airport Corporate Centre
Urbanization trend not a negative
The well-publicized trend of major tenants moving back into the downtown core to occupy new or renovated space is not expected to provide a major obstacle for HOOPP’s newest project, the JLL executive said.
“I think there is a certain component of the market that is going to want to be downtown. The suburbs is more than 50% of the inventory in Toronto. Call it 90 million square feet space split across the suburbs and vacancy is 10%.”
Spectrum Square will have many of the amenities of downtown space, but in a suburban setting. While its proximity to the Pearson International Airport will be an attraction to major corporate clients, it is also adjacent to the new Spectrum Station, part of the Mississauga MiWay Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line.
“The key is they have taken a lot of those things that people go downtown for, restaurants, transit, and put them on the site,” he said. “I think suburban developers are getting better at competing with downtown. HOOPP’s definitely building downtown. They are coming out of the ground at One York, so they are cognizant of what their tenants are demanding there and trying to create the same out in the suburbs.”
Watson expects large multinational corporations will be attracted to the Airport Corporate Centre development, describing it as an evolution from the open concept suburban office epitomized by the Loblaw Co.’s building in the GTA.
The new buildings will all be built to LEED Gold standards. “Given who they are, the Ontario Hospital Pension Plan, they are extremely conscious of building healthy work environments, and that is a key goal of this project.”
Biggest For JLL
The JLL executive characterizes the ACC assignment as the biggest in its time in Canada. “In total square footage, this is the biggest one and our second million square foot assignment in the last six months.”
JLL recently was awarded the contract to lease up the 1 million sq. ft. Consilium Place office complex in Scarborough after Kevric Real Estate Corp. purchased the three tower complex for $235 million in July.
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Related articles:
Jury Out on Suburban Centres Versus Office Parks, May 8, 2012
Evton Invests Alongside HOOPP in ACC, February 27, 2012



Paul is a writer, editor and media trainer based in Toronto with over 25 years of experience as a business reporter. He has written for Canada’s major news services on…

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Paul is a writer, editor and media trainer based in Toronto with over 25 years of experience as a business reporter. He has written for Canada’s major news services on…

Read more




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