Savills News

Savills Behind Toronto’s Leading Tech Transactions

Commercial Real Estate Services Company Completes Multiple Transactions for Notable Clients Softchoice, Rakuten Kobo, Snap Inc. and Buzzfeed

International real estate services provider Savills announced it has completed four separate transactions on behalf of its clients Softchoice, Rakuten Kobo, Snap Inc. and Buzzfeed for a combined total of more than 200,000 square feet.

In the first transaction, Softchoice, a leading North American provider of IT solutions and managed services, renewed its existing 100,000-square-foot lease at 173 Dufferin Street and expanded its campus across the street into 25,000 square feet at 2 Fraser Avenue. Savills Executive Vice President, Founder and Head of Canada Stan Krawitz and Vice President Mark Evanylo represented the tenant and were supported by Savills workplace and project management teams. The joint ownership of Adgar Properties and York Heritage worked collaboratively with Softchoice to create a long-term real estate solution that would enable the IT company to expand in the highly competitive Downtown West brick and beam office market, despite a very limited vacancy. Christian Tambakis and David DeNoble of Adgar Investments & Development Ltd. represented the landlord.

In the second transaction, Rakuten Kobo, one of the world’s leading eReader hardware and content providers (top 3 with Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks), hired Stan Krawitz and Vice President Paul Kay to evaluate and realign its leased premises to its business operations. In a strategic right sizing, Savills sublet 13,000 square feet across the entire fourth floor to Flyp Technologies. Krawitz and Kay then worked directly with the landlord, Allied Properties, to renegotiate and renew Rakuten Kobo’s lease for 50,000 square feet across the ground, second and third floors of 135 Liberty Street/53 Fraser Avenue.

Next, Snap Inc. (formerly known as Snapchat Inc.), retained Savills to assist with its immediate need for 10,000 square feet of office space following its acquisition of Toronto-based animation and creative organization, Bitstrips. The existing 4,000-square-foot Bitstrips office space was near expiry and the company’s projected growth showed an escalating space need of 30,000 square feet. According to Krawitz, who represented the tenant alongside Paul Kay and Corporate Managing Director Luke Troedson, the landlord agreed to relocate existing tenants and accelerate its own building updates to meet Snap’s aggressive timelines. Landlord YAD Investments recaptured unlettable lower level space by converting storage and facility rooms into usable office space and invested in new windows, opened structural walls for improved flow, sandblasted ceilings and beams, and new concrete topping and epoxy on the lower level floor. Due to the landlord’s upgrades to the property, Snap was able to occupy the second floor of 197 Spadina Avenue and will grow into the first and lower floors in the near future.

Finally, media company BuzzFeed relocated from its Toronto-based co-working space into a 2,000-square-foot short-term sublet office at 355 Adelaide Street West. According to Kay, who represented the tenant, BuzzFeed’s relocation from co-working space is a reflection of its commitment to the Canadian market while maintaining the flexibility for growth opportunities allowed by subletting space for a short-term.

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