RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (REI-UN-T) had owned the shopping mall that is home to more than 40 stores, including Lowe’s, Save-On-Foods, London Drugs, Winners and a Cineplex cinema. Tillicum Centre is located about five kilometres north of downtown Victoria at 3170 Tillicum Road.
“This is an excellent acquisition for us,” said Kevin Leon, president of Crestpoint, in a release Monday afternoon. The Toronto-based commercial real estate investment manager holds about $4 billion of gross assets under management.
“Greater Victoria has emerged as one of the most desirable markets in Canada due to its growing population, diversified regional economy and strong fundamentals in the commercial real estate market. This situation is evident in the strong performance of the key tenants at Tillicum.”
RioCan continues $2B divestment
RioCan announced in 2017 its intention to divest about $2 billion in retail properties across Canada to focus on six core markets (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa).
However, in his remarks at the time, RioCan CEO Ed Sonshine had said Tillicum Centre was not one of the properties which would initially be on the block. He said the trust intended to hold on to some of its assets in strong secondary markets, or properties which had significant redevelopment or densification potential.
At the time, he called Victoria a “great market.”
Sonshine did say, however, that RioCan would be constantly re-evaluating the properties it would divest. During its Q3 2018 conference call with investors, Sonshine said RioCan had divested about $1.3 billion in properties (63 per cent of its goal) but that economic conditions had somewhat slowed the pace of its sales.
The Tillicum shopping centre was valued at just under $139.1 million in July 2018 by BC Assessment, which sets the values of properties in B.C. for tax purposes. The property was assessed at $131.6 million in the previous year.
Anthem already a Victoria investor
Eric Carlson, the CEO of Anthem, said in the release the mall is a tremendous asset that “adds meaningfully to our diversified portfolio.”
Anthem is a Vancouver-based real estate development, investment and management company formed 28 years ago. It has invested in, developed or managed more than 240 residential, commercial and retail projects with a total value of approximately $6 billion.
The company said it currently co-owns and manages 4.4 million square feet of retail, industrial, residential rental and office space across Western North America. Anthem also holds more than 5,000 acres of land, it said in the release announcing the Tillicum deal.
Anthem’s residential portfolio includes more than 12,000 homes that are complete, in design or under construction.
“We have remained invested in the Greater Victoria market for decades and this addition reinforces our real estate strategy,” Carlson said in the release.
Tillicum Centre was originally built in 1982 and was renovated in 2016.
Crestpoint and Anthem declined an interview when first contacted by RENX.
– With additional files from Don Wilcox