Today, City Council unanimously adopted the ModernTO – City-Wide Real Estate Strategy and Office Portfolio Optimization report. The report details the City-Wide Real Estate Portfolio Strategy and sets out a plan for the office portfolio – the first application of the realty strategy.
This new approach to optimizing City of Toronto real estate assets will help the City modernize its office space, while saving money and generating new efficiencies for municipal government.
The City currently has more than 15,400 office employees housed in three million square feet of office space at 52 owned and leased locations – a large, outdated and inefficient office footprint.
The office optimization plan is a five-year, self-funded strategy that will reduce and revitalize the City’s office footprint through the reduction of third-party leases and the co-location of staff. These efforts will generate long-term cost savings, while identifying underused office space that can be repurposed to unlock city-building opportunities, allowing for better use of the City’s real estate assets.
The proposed Office Portfolio Optimization plan:
• Reduces City office locations from 52 to 20 – mostly through collapsing leases coming due in upcoming years.
• Unlocks eight properties for city-building purposes, including affordable housing, and maximizes the use of City Hall, Metro Hall, Scarborough Civic Centre, North York Civic Centre and the new Etobicoke Civic Centre.
• Identifies that these sites will become modern office hubs that will be able to accommodate up to 5,600 additional employees through more efficient office design.
• Decreases the City’s overall office square footage by 25 per cent.
As part of the plan, the eight office locations identified for city-building opportunities are:
• 33 Queen St. E.
• 610 Bay St.
• 931 Yonge St.
• 1900 Yonge St.
• 75 Elizabeth St.
• 277 Victoria St.
• 95 The Esplanade – Ground Floor
• 18 Dyas Rd.
Public services now delivered at any of the sites identified as underused will still remain available to the community. No decisions on those services, their locations or timelines for change have been made, but communications will occur before any City service is relocated.
The staff report is available at: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2019.EX9.2
“The ModernTO plan for the City’s office space makes common sense and financial sense. I am proud to have led City Council in bringing this plan forward so that we can reduce our office locations from 52 to 20 and generate $750 million in savings over the next 25 years. This plan will lead to better service delivery, efficiencies in how we work, revitalized civic centres and Metro Hall, more jobs located in Scarborough and Etobicoke, and city-building opportunities at the locations we will no longer require.”
– Toronto Mayor John Tory
“This plan is sound public policy – we will make more efficient use of the core office spaces we occupy, while at the same time freeing up underused assets to address some of our city’s greatest needs, such as affordable housing, employment opportunities and community infrastructure.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailao (Ward 9 Davenport), Board Member, CreateTO
“I’m happy to see CreateTO delivering on the real estate strategy and bringing a strong plan forward for the first asset class to be addressed. This office optimization plan will see the City end 25 office space leases and move those employees into City-owned buildings, saving $30 million annually.”
– Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 14 Toronto Danforth), Board Member, CreateTO
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