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RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust Announces Disposition of Partial Interests and Formation of ...

January 5, 2021 GMT

TORONTO, Jan. 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (“RioCan” or the “Trust”) (TSX: REI.UN) today announced the completion of three transactions including the introduction of two new partners and the unwinding of a former partnership as follows:

  • A new 50/50 partnership with Fieldgate Urban (“Fieldgate”) for a mixed-use condominium development with the combination of respective properties along Bloor Street West in Toronto’s Kingsway neighbourhood;
  • A new 50/50 co-ownership with Broccolini Real Estate Group (“Broccolini”) with the sale of a 50% interest in RioCan’s mixed-used development of its RioCan Centre Kirkland (“Centre Kirkland”) in Montreal; and
  • The dissolution of a co-ownership with Talisker Corporation (“Talisker”) with RioCan’s acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in the development component of the Queensway property in Toronto and the disposition of its 50% interest in the Cineplex component of the property.

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These strategic transactions improve project efficiencies, provide risk and cost sharing with two reputable and dominant residential developers within their respective markets and in the case of the Queensway property, allows RioCan to focus on an immediate and high potential development opportunity.

“We are very pleased to announce the completion of these transactions to further advance our exciting mixed-use developments in Toronto and Montreal. These projects are prime examples of how RioCan continues to expand its value creation opportunities based on its strong foundation of well-located properties,” said Edward Sonshine, Chief Executive Officer of RioCan. “We look forward to working with our two new best-in-class partners as we create long-term value and increasingly transform our portfolio of assets into transit-oriented, mixed-used communities in Canada’s growing major markets.”

New 50/50 Partnership with Fieldgate Urban for Mixed-use Development along Bloor Street West in Toronto

RioCan has formed a 50/50 partnership with new partner, Fieldgate, to build a mixed-use condominium project along Bloor Street West, directly across from the TTC’s Royal York subway station, in Toronto’s affluent Kingsway neighbourhood. The transaction involves the sale of a 50% interest in RioCan’s 2939 – 2943 Bloor Street West property to Fieldgate and the acquisition of a 50% interest in Fieldgate’s 2915 – 2917 Bloor Street West property, resulting in both partners having a 50% interest in the combined site. The transaction is valued at $180 per square foot buildable density. The net transaction price was approximately $8.0 million paid by RioCan to Fieldgate, including reimbursement of its share of development costs incurred to date. The combination of the two adjacent sites will allow for a development project of increased scale with greater density allowance and development efficiencies. The project is expected to receive final approvals and initiate pre-sales by year end 2021 followed by condominium sales activity to be launched in the second half of 2022. RioCan will act as retail property manager and Fieldgate as construction and development manager for the project.

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The project expands on RioCan’s growing presence in this highly-coveted area. It is ideally located, situated in the heart of the Kingsway neighbourhood which is recognized as a prime Toronto destination with an abundance of urban amenities. The project contemplates approximately 240 units with about 18,000 square feet of retail at grade. This development, along with RioCan’s strategic assembly of three other nearby properties along this Bloor Street West corridor, provides RioCan a unique opportunity to capitalize on residential intensification within this highly attractive node.

Founded in 1957, Fieldgate Homes, the parent of Fieldgate is a recognized residential developer. The company has delivered more than 20,000 homes, building communities throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

New Co-Ownership with Broccolini for a Mixed-Use Community at Centre Kirkland in Montreal

RioCan has completed the sale of a 50% co-ownership interest in Centre Kirkland to Broccolini for sales proceeds of approximately $19.0 million. Centre Kirkland is an open air centre anchored by a Cineplex cinema. This development project will involve a complete revitalization of the site decreasing RioCan’s exposure to Cineplex with the development of a diverse mix of new buildings and replacing underutilized space with highest and best uses. As a multi-phase project, each staggered phase of the project will remain income producing prior to its development start. As a result, the partners have entered into an agreement whereby RioCan will have a 100% interest in the pre-development leases. RioCan and Broccolini will share costs to develop each phase as it becomes development ready. Broccolini will be the development, and construction manager and once each phase of the development is complete, RioCan will serve as the retail/residential property manager and Broccolini will manage the office components.

Centre Kirkland features easy access from the TransCanada Highway (Hwy 40) and will have direct access to the Kirkland Station of the future Reseau Express Metropolitan (“REM”) light rail transit network that links downtown Montreal with the South Shore and the West Island via the Trudeau Airport. Construction of the REM is well underway with trains expected to be put into service gradually starting in 2022 and the Kirkland station ready in 2023-2024. With the Provincial and Federal governments’ ongoing investment in this new rapid transit system, the property provides the ideal opportunity to be a centre of community and commerce. Nearing 2.8 million square feet of gross floor area, the proposed project contemplates a community of new residential housing types of varying heights and density, approximately 240,000 square feet of office and approximately 135,000 square feet of complementary commercial uses with a connected network of streets. Public spaces and dedicated park land within the property will enhance the site as a destination and community hub. In co-operation with the City of Kirkland, land use entitlement for the property as mixed-use is underway and demolition for the first phase of the project is targeted for late 2022 to early 2023.

Broccolini is a leading single-source provider of construction, development and real-estate services in Canada. The company caters to the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential markets and provides a wide range of services, acting variously as a general contractor, construction manager, project manager, property manager and developer. Broccolini’s Real Estate Management subsidiary currently owns and manages a portfolio of more than 40 properties, representing a total of over 11 million square feet of assets.

100% Ownership of Development Component for Mixed-use Development at the Queensway in Toronto

RioCan’s Queensway property, which was co-owned 50/50 by RioCan and Talisker, comprises two parcels: the development land component and the Cineplex land component. The 14.6-acre Cineplex component is occupied entirely by a Cineplex cinema. Spanning 3.2 acres, the development component fronts the Cineplex component along the Queensway and is currently occupied by three Recipe Unlimited banner restaurants and a Scotiabank branch. With the last of the leases for the four units of the development component expiring July 2022, RioCan’s best-in-class development team has already rezoned this component to permit a 500,000 square feet mixed-use development.

RioCan has acquired the remaining 50% interest in the development component, which the Trust now owns 100% post this transaction. RioCan has also disposed of its 50% interest in the Cineplex component, which Talisker now owns 100% post this transaction. The development component is valued at $80 per square foot of zoned density and the Cineplex component is valued at a capitalization rate of 6.95% based on in-place net operating income in the Cineplex component. The net transaction price was $9.3 million paid by RioCan to Talisker.

The Queensway development component is located at the corner of Islington Avenue and the Queensway in the west end of Toronto. This property is minutes away from the TTC’s Bloor subway line and Mimico Go Station as well as in close proximity to major highways and directly off an exit from the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) highway. The Queensway area has been subject to new high-rise residential development given its proximity to conveniences including transit, schools, retail outlets and an easy commute to Toronto’s downtown core. As a mixed-use condominium development, this project contemplates approximately 460,000 square feet for residential use and approximately 40,000 square feet for retail use. With zoning approval in place, construction is currently anticipated to commence in 2022. In addition, RioCan is in discussions with potential capital partners, where RioCan would serve as development manager for the project.

About RioCan

RioCan is one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts. RioCan owns, manages and develops retail-focused, increasingly mixed-use properties located in prime, high-density transit-oriented areas where Canadians want to shop, live and work. As at September 30, 2020, our portfolio is comprised of 221 properties with an aggregate net leasable area of approximately 38.4 million square feet (at RioCan’s interest) including office, residential rental and 16 development properties. To learn more about us, please visit www.riocan.com.

Forward Looking Information

This News Release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. This information reflects RioCan’s objectives, our strategies to achieve those objectives, as well as statements with respect to management’s beliefs, estimates and intentions concerning anticipated future events or expectations that are not historical facts. Forward-looking information generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “outlook”, “objective”, “may”, “will”, “would”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “should”, “plan”, “continue”, or similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or events.

Such forward-looking information reflects management’s current beliefs and is based on information currently available to management. All forward-looking information in this News Release is qualified by these cautionary statements.

Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future events or performance and, by its nature, is based on RioCan’s current estimates and assumptions, which are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described in the “Risks and Uncertainties” section in RioCan’s MD&A for the period ended September 30, 2020 and in our most recent Annual Information Form, which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the forward-looking information contained in this News Release.

Although the forward-looking information contained in this News Release is based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that actual results will be consistent with this forward-looking information.

The forward-looking statements contained in this News Release are made as of the date hereof, and should not be relied upon as representing RioCan’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this News Release. Management undertakes no obligation, except as required by applicable law, to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact Information

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust
Qi Tang
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
416-866-3033 | www.riocan.com