Cadillac Fairview Strikes Groundbreaking Partnership with Canadian Olympic Committee [Photos]

(Photo: Bettina Bogar) 

(Photo: Bettina Bogar) 

By Mario Toneguzzi

Cadillac Fairview and the Canadian Olympic Committee have entered into an 11-year partnership which is aimed at growing and supporting the Olympic Movement in Canada.

With the partnership, Cadillac Fairview, one of the largest owners, operators and developers of best-in-class retail, office and mixed-use properties in North America, has been named as the Official Home of Team Canada.

As part of the agreement, the Olympic Committee will now be headquartered at CF's 250 Yonge Street office tower, part of CF Toronto Eaton Centre's office portfolio. The Committee will make its home on the 30th floor post Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

Jason Anderson, senior vice-president of marketing for Cadillac Fairview, says this is the first time that a company in the commercial real estate industry has done a deal like this.

(Acrobatics at the announcement this week at CF toronto Eaton Centre. Photo: Bettina Bogar) 

(Acrobatics at the announcement this week at CF toronto Eaton Centre. Photo: Bettina Bogar) 

“This is completely consistent with our strategy over a period of years which is to focus on the best shopping centres and office buildings in Canada and make sure they stay that way through regular investment. We spent over $4 billion in the last four years to do that,” says Anderson.

“But there’s also a recognition that we need to bring those buildings to life with vibrant, meaningful experiences. And that stands for both our shopping centres and our office buildings. What we saw here was the opportunity to recognize that great experiences can often be made better with great partners.”

He says Cadillac Fairview and Canadian Olympic Committee teams are now working together to identify ways and experiences to light up and spread the Olympic experience in shopping centres and office buildings.

“The fact this hasn’t been done in our industry before actually made it much more appealing to us as we think about how to differentiate versus our competitors and we saw being the Home of Team Canada as a great way to do just that,” says Anderson.

“What we really recognize is that at the end of the day consumers have choice. Those choices aren’t going to hurt all malls but they will hurt the ones that don’t keep up with the pace of change. And that’s what we really see a commitment to vibrant, exciting experiences is really about. It’s about staying relevant and exciting and vibrant in the eyes of our shoppers and continuing our success despite the great pace of change in our industry.”

The Canadian Olympic Committee currently is in another location in downtown Toronto as well as a location in downtown Montreal. The Toronto office move to its new location is planned by July 1, 2018.

Chris Overholt, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee, says Team Canada now has an official home where Olympians, fans and partners can come together to promote the values of the Olympic Movement. He says Cadillac Fairview is one of the Committee’s blue-chip partners.

(Lobby at 250 Yonge Street. Photo: Cadillac Fairview) 

(Lobby at 250 Yonge Street. Photo: Cadillac Fairview) 

“We worked over a couple of years to identify the right partner and the right circumstance for us and it became very clear as we got into it that Cadillac Fairview was going to be the partner we were looking for,” says Overholt. “It became very clear to both of us that there was a real opportunity here to create something special.”

Overholt says its new Toronto office is arguably the pre-eminent business building in the city if not the country.

“The opportunity more for our athletes and Canadians is the intersect of experience that all of Cadillac Fairview’s retail properties will provide. We talk a lot about the importance of our brand and central to our brand of course is our athletes. They are the living, breathing expression of the Canadian Olympic team,” says Overholt.

(At CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Photo: Bettina Bogar)

(At CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Photo: Bettina Bogar)

“So we’ll be working closely with Jason (Anderson) and his team to create experiences and opportunities for our athletes to meet and engage with Canadians. That’s just going to bring the whole thing to life in a way that we had never frankly imagined . . . We have a real experience here to connect our athletes with Canadians that we’re very excited about coast to coast to coast.”

John Sullivan, President and CEO of Cadillac Fairview, says the company has a long history of transforming and supporting the communities it operates in, developing meaningful relationships that extend beyond bricks and mortar.

"We believe in the power of great teams and following months of planning, we are excited to officially join forces with the COC and look forward to building a program that will bring the Olympic spirit and sense of optimism to Canadians and visitors coast-to-coast in the communities we serve,” he says.

The Cadillac Fairview portfolio, owned by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, includes investments in retail, mixed-use and industrial real estate in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. It is valued at more than $28 billion. The Canadian portfolio includes over 38 million square feet of leasable space at 67 properties in Canada.

Mario Toneguzzi Headshot.jpg

Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: mdtoneguzzi@gmail.com

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