|CN to sell its HQ building and Central Station Complex in Montreal
|On May 18, 2007, CN announced plans to sell its Central Station Complex (CSC) in Downtown Montreal. The CSC houses CN’s Headquarters building, the
passenger rail station of VIA Rail Canada, l’Agence métropolitaine de transport, AMTRAK and extensive retail, café, food court/restaurant operations and
extensive downtown parking facilities. CN plans to lease back its corporate headquarters building and the railway passenger facilities of the station, the two
key components of the CSC.
Central Station was built by the CNR (Canadian National Railways) when CN was a Federal Crown Corporation. Central Station officially opened on July 14,
1943. CN also built, as part of the Central Station Complex, the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, which broke ground in 1957 and was officially opened in 1958. CN’s
existing Headquarters building was newly built and officially opened in 1961.
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CN’s 17-storey office headquarters building houses many of the Company’s senior corporate officers and railway functions. Hundreds of members of CAW
National Council 4000/Local 4003, both employed with CN and VIA Rail work in CN’s Headquarters and the Central Station Complex. It is not known at this
time if a potential sale will cause adverse employment affects to any Local 4003 members. CN has not discussed the matter with the CAW at this time, or
issued any Article 8 (job abolishment) notices as of yet.
Central Station, which today includes the popular Les Halles de la Gare (major retail outlets/commercial services/food courts and the Deli Planet restaurant) in
addition to passenger rail services for VIA Rail passengers, may be a candidate for a proposed rail link between downtown Montreal and the Pierre Elliott
Trudeau International Airport, as well as bus station activities.
“We believe the sale and lease back transaction will put a highly experienced property manager in place to unlock the great potential of this inter-city passenger
and commuter rail transportation hub and retail centre, including one million square feet of space available for future development,” said Claude Mongeau,
Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of CN. “This transaction will not affect the location of CN’s corporate headquarters in Montreal or the rail
passenger facilities of Central Station, both of which CN plans to lease back on a long-term basis.”
CN will take the necessary measures to ensure the heritage features of the station are maintained and protected for the future in the proposed real estate
CN, through its advisor for the transaction, Brookfield Financial Real Estate Group, will invite proposals from qualified parties to bid on the Central Station
Complex, and anticipates reaching a definitive agreement on the sale, as well as the leaseback of its headquarters and the station’s rail facilities, by the fall of
Source: cawcouncil4000.com and from CN files