University of Waterloo buys $41M in property from BlackBerry

The University of Waterloo says it has purchased $41 million worth of buildings and land from BlackBerry.
The university says it has been in discussions with BlackBerry over the purchase of the company's buildings for the past several months. (Brian St. Denis/CBC)

In a deal worth $41 million, the University of Waterloo has purchased five buildings and land from BlackBerry. 

The deal is expected to be completed on February 14 and will see the university occupy three office buildings on the northeast corner of its main campus. 

BlackBerry will remain tenants of two other buildings for up to five years.

Tim Jackson, the university's vice president of student relations, says the purchase of BlackBerry buildings 1, 2, 3, 4 and 16 near the intersection of Columbia Street West and Phillip Street will give the university an additional 300,000 square feet and more than 1,000 parking spaces.

"The university has grown significantly and continues to grow significantly, so we have requirements for new student space and faculty space," Jackson told CBC News. "The opportunity to get 300,000 square feet was an opportunity we just didn't think we could give up."

The announcement of the deal comes hours after BlackBerry reported a loss of $4.4 billion US in its latest quarter.

In a statement to CBC News, BlackBerry says it is targeting a reduction of approximately 50 per cent in operating expenditures by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2015. 

"BlackBerry and the University of Waterloo were fortunate to have the opportunity to work together to achieve each organization's objective with the sale of five buildings," the company said. 



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