Case Study


Project Management & Design

Founded in 1946, Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a broad range of professional enginering services.

Arup brings together broad-minded individuals from a wide range of disciplines and encourages them to look beyond the constraints of their own specialties. This unconventional approach to design springs in part from Arup’s ownership structure. The firm is owned in trust on behalf of its staff. The result is an independence of spirit that is reflected in the firm’s workand its dedicated pursuit of technical excellence.


The Challenge

Experiencing explosive employee growth, Arup was challenged with a facility that provided no room for expansion and space needs that would require a doubling in size (from 8,000 – 16,000 square feet) over the course of the next 12 -24 months. Aside from location and budgetary contstraints Arup was further challenged by a two-year lease obligation at its existing facility. Finally, given Arup’s role as a leader in the engineering world, designing the premises to LEED certification was determined to be a critical requirement.


Savills Response

After an extensive review of Arup’s short- and long-term needs, Savills developed multiple strategies to marry Arup’s real estate to its corporate and business plan objectives. Savills engaged in discussions with Arup’s existing landlord to determine what opportunities might exist within the landlord’s portfolio that would allow them to relocate immediately and terminate the existing obligation. Savills also sourced the market for both short-term “band-aid” solutions, as well as long-term solutions that could potentially accommodate a phased occupancy. The key would therefore be to find a facility that would allow Arup to grow into it over a two-year period, at which point Arup could relocate its existing operations into the new facility.


The Solution

After a lengthy search process, Savills uncovered the perfect solution at the epicentre of Arup’s target location (the corner of Yonge Street & Bloor Street). Savills succesfully negotiated a long-term sublease (8.5 years) from Citco Canada at 2 Bloor St E., with provisions for a 50% gross rent-free period during the first 12 months, and a 25% gross rent-free period over the next 6 months. A full rent obligation was set to begin after 18 months. Notwithstanding this rent structure, Arup was permitted to fit out and occupy 100% of the premesis from day one. This structure mitigated any duplicated rent obligations between its two locations for unoccupied space, while still providing Arup with the opportunity to sublease its existing facilities in advance of their natural expiry, which Savills was successful in achieving with an 80% recovery on its remaining obligation.

Further, Arup engaged Savills Project Management + Design at the beginning of the real estate process to evaluate is space needs, evaluate alternatives under consideration and design, and oversee the implementation of the fit out of its new LEED certified premises.