WE Charity to divest buildings in Toronto

Toronto-based developer Simon Poon, who heads WES Group, says he is selling buildings in downtown Toronto for $36.1 million. Poon’s company has an agreement to sell five properties — two office buildings and three…

WE Charity to divest buildings in Toronto

Toronto-based developer Simon Poon, who heads WES Group, says he is selling buildings in downtown Toronto for $36.1 million. Poon’s company has an agreement to sell five properties — two office buildings and three condos — to Cornerstone Development Group, a California-based group with a portfolio of developments across Canada.

Poon says his company had invested $33 million in the properties, which have been unprofitable for the organization.

Story continues below advertisement

The sale is expected to close in late January, which will be announced at the end of November.

In a statement Friday, WE Charity described the sale as “the appropriate end to our two-year strategic plan.”

On a one-time basis, the charity would have lost $7 million as a result of the transaction, but the charity is projecting “adjusted capitalization” will allow it to close the book on its investment.

“I am very satisfied with the outcome,” said WE Charity president and CEO Nina de Groot. “In light of the intense market conditions of the past 18 months and the absence of pre-sales on any of the properties, the sale means we can redirect our capital to initiatives that further support the mission of the Society and expand our reach.”

During the summer, WE Charity announced it was closing a number of programs and reducing its workforce to reduce costs.

“We have been in discussions with Cornerstone for months,” de Groot said. “I view this as the continuation of our partnership with Cornerstone that started in 2013.”

The five buildings are worth about $100 million, which would have accounted for nearly a third of WE Charity’s total value at the end of last year.

Story continues below advertisement

Story continues below advertisement

The building Poon is selling for $37.7 million represents a 37 per cent decline from its initial asking price, according to Builder Report.

Leave a Comment