John van Gent is entrusted by commercial real estate financiers, investors and owners to help maximize the value of their portfolios, through practical advice on the structuring of complex financing and other transactions.
Recently recognized by The Legal 500 Canada as one of six next generation real estate lawyers, John has over 16 years of experience in Canadian commercial real estate. His practice has a particular emphasis on real estate financing. John has acted on some of the country's largest commercial real estate financing transactions including, most recently, acting as lead counsel to a syndicate of lenders with respect to a $1.4 billion syndicated term loan in connection with the acquisition by Blackstone Property Partners L.P. and Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc. of all of the units of Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust.
John’s real estate finance practice focuses on both syndicated and bilateral secured lending transactions including revolving, term loan and construction credit facilities. His clients include a mix of borrowers, banks and private non-bank commercial mortgage lenders. In 2018 John acted on secured lending transaction with an aggregate loan value in excess of $4.1 billion including, most notably, a $1.4 billion syndicated term loan secured by a portfolio of over 125 industrial properties across Canada, a $275 million term loan secured by a portfolio of 27 office properties across the country, a $200 million mezzanine term loan secured by all of the assets and undertakings of a western based Canadian real estate development company, a $200 million secured term loan secured by a portfolio of funded loan commitments, a $130 million operating line secured by a portfolio of urban infill properties in Ontario, a $125 million construction loan for a mixed use development at Yorkville Avenue and Cumberland Street in Toronto, a $120 million term loan secured by Lansing Square, and a $116 million term loan secured by LuCliff Place.
John has a breadth of experience with traditional real estate investment structures, including joint ventures, limited partnerships, mortgage investment funds, real estate and other private equity investment funds, and other co-ownership arrangements. Canadian and international real estate investors benefit from John's considerable experience with respect to the trading and financing of commercial real property, including office buildings, retail properties, industrial properties, multi-family residential developments, seniors housing, and hotel and resort properties. His advice to clients concerning real estate investment structures and land transfer tax planning results in transaction efficiencies and long term savings.
John regularly acts for both landlords and tenants on commercial leasing, sub-leasing, and land leasing arrangements. He has acted for government or quasi-government interest such as PortsToronto in connection with real estate holdings throughout the Toronto waterfront such as the development and construction of the pedestrian tunnel to the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and the Villiers Island Precinct.
John has authored and presented a number of articles at industry conferences and is a regular presenter at the Bennett Jones Academy.