In 2017, we expanded our number of high-end commercial ventures with the acquisition of Tower B of the EZ Towers Complex, and the completion and delivery of Nações 17007 (both located in São Paulo) as well the L’Oreal project in Rio. The EZ Tower B was acquired for BRL 670 million, adding approximately 506,000 sq. ft. of leasable area to our portfolio, a growth of approximately 13% with respect to 2016. As a result, we finished the year with seven buildings in the city of São Paulo and other four in Rio de Janeiro, a total of BRL 6.2 billion in assets under management, growth of 21.5% year-over-year.
In 2017, our operations performed well despite only timid signs of real estate market recovery in general. In Rio de Janeiro, we maintained a 100% occupancy rate in our assets. One of the main highlights was the delivery of the new L’Oréal headquarters building in Brazil, a build-to-suit project, which ensures occupancy levels and lease prices regardless of market conditions.
In São Paulo, Brookfield was responsible for 702,657 square feet – 30% of the market’s total net absorption of commercial office leasing. The year’s highlights include Towers D and E occupancy rate of 96.5% attained in the WT Morumbi building. Also in São Paulo, we completed the Nações Unidas 17.007 complex, with a total area of 1,076,391 square feet.
We closed 2017 with an expressive average occupancy rate of 94.3% of our portfolio, while the market in the two principal Brazilian cities as a whole registered an average occupancy rate of 78.7%. We attribute this achievement to the quality of our portfolio, which absorbed a good part of the movement known as “flight to quality”.
In 2018, we will continue to focus on attracting new tenants and maintaining high occupation levels. We also remain attentive to opportunities for new acquisitions both in the commercial building segment and in industrial warehouses, in which we already have a very relevant global presence and where we see strong investment potential in Brazil.