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PortsToronto's historic headquarters sold

Oxford Properties Group and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have purchased the building for $96-million.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

PortsToronto is selling the historic Toronto Harbour Commission building and an accompanying surface parking lot in Toronto's South Core to Oxford Properties Group and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $96-million.

Robert Poirier, chair of PortsToronto, a federal agency that operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport as well as the port and outer harbour marina, said Monday that proceeds from the sale will go to paying down debt and restoring aging infrastructure.

The six-storey building, which houses the head office for PortsToronto as well as the high-end steakhouse Harbour Sixty, was built in 1918 on the edge of Lake Ontario, although subsequent landfill has moved the shore farther south. The structure is to be restored and maintained as part of any future development of the site.

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"This acquisition of 30 Bay St. fits well with our Canadian office portfolio strategy, which focuses on key markets such as Toronto," said Peter Ballon, managing director, head of real-estate investments for CPPIB.

"The site's proximity to a major transportation hub [Union Station] and a growing urban residential area make it an attractive future development site."

The transaction is the second significant sale of a federal heritage structure in the area in the past six weeks. Vancouver-based Larco Investments bought the Dominion Public Building, at 1 Front St. W., in March for $275.1-million.

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