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BOSTON-Manulife Financial’s merger with John Hancock Financial Services will make its real presence felt in the city’s office market. The Toronto-based firm hired Spaulding & Slye Colliers to sublease its excess space.

A spokesperson in Manulife’s real estate division confirms for GlobeSt.com that the company has retained Spaulding & Slye Colliers to sublease its excess space, adding that the company is currently looking at its space requirements. The company currently occupies a total of 1.6 million sf in various locations throughout Boston. The spokesperson says Boston will continue to be the company’s US headquarters and that they will maintain a significant presence in both the Back Bay and Seaport areas. The company’s eventual occupancy in the city will be 1.4 million sf.

With Manulife’s new 420,000-sf headquarters at 601 Congress St. near completion, that leaves 620,000 sf of excess space for the company. The company could not be specific about exactly how much space is going on the market.

Manulife’s US Wealth Management group–John Hancock Life Insurance Co.–will relocate to the new building. Employees will start moving in at the beginning of next month, but the majority of the moves are targeted for November. The company’s Financial Protection business lines–John Hancock Life Insurance Co.–as well as its US Investment operations and administration groups will be consolidated within John Hancock’s existing Back Bay locations. In the John Hancock tower complex, the company occupies nearly one million sf of space. The company intends to remain in that space.

The move by Manulife comes just as the sublease market in the city was in the midst of a downward trend. According to Lincoln Property Co.’s most recent statistics, the sublease market experienced a decrease in its availability rate from 2.7% to 2.3%.

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