In the last days of 2021, Partner Engineering and Science, Inc. (Partner) secured a contract covering an array of professional services to a trophy building in Toronto’s exclusive financial district. The Royal Bank Plaza – an award-winning office building located at 200 Bay Street – is one of the largest and most exclusive office complexes in Toronto. The 2.1 million SF project consists of two 24-carat gold coated towers which are joined by the Atrium Link structure housing the Royal Bank of Canada trading floor and an indoor art installation; it also includes the Concourse Retail Area.
Partner’s Managing Director, Justin Lia, credits his long-standing relationship with the client as to what allowed him to achieve a certain level of trust and capture the trophy project. “When you buy a building in an exclusive group of buildings in a city like Toronto, comp set dictates how you run that building,” said Lia who managed the project and supported the transaction. “The Royal Bank Plaza is on the list of the six nicest big buildings over 750,000 square feet [in that area].”
Lia also noted that this grand dame of a building is almost 50 years old. “Over the next 10 years, all major building systems including piping, HVAC, 41 elevators, the façade, roofs, interiors, and electrical systems will all need significant work,” Lia continued.
Partner’s Assessment practice offers an array of due diligence services to support the investment risk evaluation process and the Asset Management team that ultimately took over running the property. The scope of services include for the Royal Bank Plaza include: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA); Equity-level, Generalist Property Condition Assessment Report; Security System and Building Technology Assessment; Green Building Document Evaluation; Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) Specialist; Fire Alarm and Suppression Specialty Evaluation; Structural Specialty Evaluation; Parking Garage Evaluation; Roofing Specialty Evaluation; Façade Specialty Evaluation (including drops); Vertical Transportation Specialty Evaluation; and Limited Accessibility Assessment.
Lia stated that more than 27 Partner team members plus several independent contract workers were instrumental in preparing the proposal. He also noted that Greg Souder, Sr. Managing Director at Partner, focused on the structural and parking garage. “It added a layer of experience having a super senior guy like Greg in the field to oversee; spearhead specialists,” said Lia. “It was tremendously helpful.”
While performing the Building Technology Assessment, Partner’s Director of Information Technology, Shervan Shah, uncovered two fiber connections that the building owners did not even know existed as they had not been previously revealed. This answered a critical Building Technology risk question, that was crucial to maintaining the deal momentum and holding the closing date. It is this expert experience that gives Partner leverage against others in the industry.
Lia also noted several other key players who worked on the project: Senior Project Manager Terry Bailey, Senior Project Manager Misha Goodman, and Managing Director Nate Benton.
In all, Partner assessments resulted in a successful transaction that identified more than $190MM of costs which were previously unaccounted for. This provided the Client the ability to negotiate a significant savings (many times their due diligence investment), and plan accordingly for future capital allocations.