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for office space in our pension plan clients the comfort that
this region has been we are working for their best interests.”
high as a result. Jamieson Place
Bentall has been Bentall is the development and leasing
able to take advan- manager for Jamieson Place, an 840,000-
tage of this trend square-foot office building being built for
because of its struc- British Columbia Investment Manage-
ture, according to ment Corp. (BCIMC) in Calgary.
Astles. Executive The LEED-certified structure has 38
Vice President floors, is 60 percent leased and will cost
Randy Magnussen, $320 million (Canadian) when completed
the Bentall leader in at the end of 2009.
Calgary, was able to BCIMC is an investment management
spot the turn in corporation based in Victoria, British
market demand ear- Columbia, with more than $80 billion in
lier than other firms assets with global exposure. Its clients
in the area, and include pension plans, provincial govern-
Bentall landed two ment, public trusts and insurance funds.
400,000-square-foot BCIMC’s real estate investments
office projects that include more than $9 billion in assets
were 100 percent housing some of Canada’s most presti-
leased before they gious firms, such as Imperial Oil, Royal
were a third of the Bank of Canada and Microsoft Corp.
way built.
Bentall 5 – Phase II
Ethical Guidelines Phase II of Bentall 5 has attracted atten-
As a fiduciary advi- tion from around North America, the
sor, Astles says company says. Phase II is a $90 million,
Bentall must be 13-story “vertical extension” of the exist-
completely transpar- ing 21-story Bentall 5 phase 1 building.
ent when it comes Bentall 5 Phase I capped off the project
to its products and prematurely at 21 stories in the event
services as it invests market forces weakened. In 2002, the de-
other people’s cision was made to postpone construc-
money. On the other tion of the balance of the project until
hand, Bentall must market conditions improved.
no other way a real estate company like remain entrepreneurial at what it does. With Phase I fully occupied, Phase II
Bentall can be successful. “Because of the nature of our clients, was started in 2005. Because the infra-
“We need our real estate services peo- all our products and services have to be structure was already complete, Phase II
ple to be specialized in a product type, aimed at best-in-class,” Astles adds. “Also, could be first to market in a quickly im-
then you can be best of class,” Astles our services are judged by major institu- proving office market.
says. “That is our goal.” tions and an independent board of direc- Before the third floor was poured, all
By further breaking down the business tors and are subject to an annual audit of Phase II was pre-leased for occupancy
regionally, Bentall is a position to identi- that guarantees compliance. in 2007.
fy market changes early. “We want to be “But our tenant survey ratings are Bentall has managed the development
in local markets to spot market trends extremely high, and we share all these Quebec-based pension fund client SITQ.
early in the cycle,” Astles adds. “Our reg- results with our pension fund clients for Founded by the Caisse de dépôt et place-
ional awareness makes us more respon- complete transparency.” ment du Québec with invested capital of
sive and entrepreneurial. Bentall takes these extra precautions $9 million, SITQ today holds a $10.3 bil-
“Our thinking is modified by the because it understands it is dealing with lion property portfolio, comprised main-
demand of the region rather than dictat- money people expect to use at their ly of office buildings and business parks
ed by a corporate structure.” retirement, Astles says. located in major cities in Canada, the
For example, the Calgary, Alberta, area “We want our actions to be clearly United States, France, the United King-
is known for its oil patch, and with oil good decisions for the pensioners,” he dom and Germany. Together, these prop-
prices and demand on the rise, Alberta adds. “Through having an independent erties represent more than 35 million
has benefited economically. The demand board and investment committee, it gives square feet of space. ■