Canadian REITs mixing portfolios amid a turbulent market

by Ephraim Vecina on 02 Dec 2016
Amid a global market rocked by uncertainty, Canada’s real estate investment trusts (REITs) are taking more prudent steps by betting on hybrid projects.
Last month, RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust of Toronto announced its partnership with the Calgary-based Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust, involving the development of an 11-storey mixed-use residential rental tower.
The project—which will be situated at the Brentwood Village Shopping Centre in Calgary, AB—will feature around 120,000 square feet of residential space in 165 apartment units, as well as a 10,000-square-foot at-grade retail podium. RioCan will maintain a 100% ownership interest in the remainder of the centre, Business in Vancouver reported.
In the announcement of the project, RioCan CEO Edward Sonshine said that the Calgary development is “an example of just one of the many urban intensification projects that RioCan has on hand within its portfolio of high-quality urban locations in Canada’s six major markets.”
Sonshine added that RioCan has approximately 50 other commercial sites it “considers to be strong possible intensification opportunities.” The REIT has already secured planning approval for over 10 million square feet in rental housing and condominiums, for a total of 9 mixed-use projects in Greater Toronto, Victoria, and Edmonton.
RioCan also has the ongoing King Portland Centre joint project with Allied Real Estate Investment Trust, itself engaged in mixing portfolios through at least 4 projects in Toronto that incorporate both residential and commercial spaces.

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