Manulife Begins Construction on New Vancouver Office Tower

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Engineering Consulting Firm BGC Secured as Lead Tenant for 16-Storey Building

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980 Howe Street, Vancouver, British Columbia - Property Type: Downtown Office, Building Size: 250,000 SF, Number …

VANCOUVER , July 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Manulife Real Estate, the global real estate arm of Manulife Financial Corporation, today announced that it has begun construction on 980 Howe Street, a 16-storey, 250,000 square foot office building in downtown Vancouver . International engineering consulting firm BGC has been secured as lead tenant.

Designed by CEI Architecture and Endall Elliot Associates, 980 Howe Street will be a state-of-the-art, Class "A", LEED Gold Certified office building located within walking distance of Robson Square, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the provincial law courts. The Vancouver office of Pivotal Projects is managing the project with Ellis Don as General Contractor. The building has a targeted completion of spring 2015.

This development brings Manulife Real Estate's total owned and managed portfolio in Vancouver to more than 1 million square feet. Manulife's other Vancouver properties include 1095 West Pender and 510 Burrard Street.

"Manulife Real Estate continues to expand our reach into the growing Vancouver real estate market," said Kevin Adolphe , President and CEO, Manulife Real Estate. "We have confidence in the fundamentals of the Vancouver office market and we have had tremendous experiences working with the Vancouver community."

Amenities at 980 Howe Street will include an on-site conference facility; rooftop garden terrace; secure bicycle storage; an exclusive tenant lounge and a fitness centre.

BGC, which provides engineering and geoscience services to the mining, energy and transportation industries has agreed to a 15-year lease term and will occupy four floors at 980 Howe.

"Manulife's strong reputation, the LEED Gold standard, top amenities and location were important factors for us when considering our move." said Steve Hedberg , President and CEO, BGC. "We are looking forward to growing with Manulife at 980 Howe Street, especially being able to offer lifestyle choices in a sustainable, efficient working environment to our staff."

About Manulife Real Estate

Manulife Real Estate is the global real estate arm of Manulife Financial Corporation with fully integrated in-house capabilities and 70 years of experience as an active investor, owner, developer and asset manager of commercial real estate. Diversified by both geography and asset type, the portfolio consists primarily of prime office and industrial properties, as well as select retail and  multi-family residential properties, in key metropolitan centers throughout Canada , Asia and in the United States , through Manulife's U.S. division, John Hancock . In addition to equity real estate, Manulife Real Estate manages the space requirements and own use facilities for Manulife's operations around the world. In 2011, Manulife Real Estate launched a new real estate fund platform, extending the benefit of its long established real estate asset management expertise to institutional investors. As at March 31, 2013 , the Manulife Real Estate portfolio totaled more than 36 million square feet with a market value of C$9.3 billion (US$9.2 billion). Additional information about Manulife Real Estate can be found at http://www.manuliferealestate.com.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States . Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$555 billion (US$547 billion) as at March 31, 2013 . The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States .

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at http://www.manulife.com.

Image with caption: "980 Howe Street, Vancouver, British Columbia - Property Type: Downtown Office, Building Size: 250,000 SF, Number of Storeys: 16 (CNW Group/Manulife Financial Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130725_C9636_PHOTO_EN_29270.jpg

SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation

Contact:

Media inquiries:
Sean B. Pasternak Manulife Financial
416-852-2745
sean_pasternak@manulife.com

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