The current sub-lease is set to expire in 2020. The extension to 2030 confirms Johnson's commitment to the city of St. John’s and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Johnson takes over primary tenancy of the building in 2020 from Bell Aliant. At that point, Johnson Insurance will be a direct tenant of the building owner, Slate Office REIT. Primary tenancy of the building will give Johnson Insurance naming rights for the building, which will henceforth be called the Johnson Building.
“St. John’s has been home to Johnson Insurance for 130 years, and we remain committed to being an active and proud part of the city and province. We truly appreciate just how incredibly collaborative the City of St. John’s has been to work with,” says Ken Bennett, President of Johnson Insurance. “The building is a major landmark in the downtown area, anchoring the east end of the commercial core, making it the perfect headquarters for our Canadian operations. Working with Slate Office REIT has also been a very positive experience. Johnson Insurance looks forward to continuing to serve our clients across Canada from where it all began.”
Slate Office REIT is happy to have commitment from Johnson as its primary tenant for an extended 10-year agreement. “Johnson Insurance is an important member of the St. John’s community and we are happy to see them taking over primary tenancy of our building,” says Scott Antoniak, Chief Executive Officer of the REIT. “We are thrilled that Johnson Insurance will continue to be a great tenant of the REIT in downtown St. John’s and look forward to continuing to build our relationship.”
When looking for a new office space in the city, Johnson Insurance considered several new build opportunities. The quality of the professional and vibrant development community in St. John’s is a testament to the future capacity of the city and made the decision a hard one, but ultimately the decision to stay in the building was the most sustainable choice.
“As a trusted and dedicated employer in St. John’s, we are grateful for Johnson Insurance’s continued presence and commitment to the city core of St. John’s, and to Atlantic Canada as a whole,” says Mayor Dennis O'Keefe.
As part of its lease extension, Johnson Insurance is committed to working closely with the City of St. John’s to find sustainable ways to add more parking space to the east side of the city over the next few years.
About Slate Office REIT (TSX: SOT.UN)
Slate Office REIT is an open-ended real estate investment trust. The REIT's portfolio currently comprises 35 strategic and well-located real estate assets located primarily across Canada's major population centres. The REIT is focused on maximizing value through internal organic rental and occupancy growth and strategic acquisitions. Visit www.slateam.com/SOT to learn more.