CP enlists Dream to develop surplus land

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP-T) and Dream Unlimited Corp. (DRM-T) have formed a joint venture called Dream Van Horne Properties to maximize long-term shareholder value of CP’s surplus real estate through development.

Dream “After a couple of years of evaluating all of the real estate that we have, we decided that it was time to start utilizing some of those assets,” CP spokesperson Martin Cej told RENX.

“After a very comprehensive search for a partner, we decided to go with Dream because of their experience, expertise and vision, which all dovetailed very well with the values of this company. It was the right mix.”

30 CP properties

More than 30 CP properties in Canada and the United States will initially be part of the joint venture. Cej said they vary in size and zoning regulations and are located in both urban and rural areas. He stressed the company is “open to any and all ideas” of how the land should be used.

“We’re providing the land and Dream is providing the expertise,” said Cej.

Four CP properties that are part of the joint venture were mentioned in a media release:

– Schiller Park, a 75-acre site in Chicago that’s close to O’Hare International Airport;
– Obico, a 74-acre site near Kipling Avenue and Dundas Street West in Toronto’s west end industrial sub-market;
– South Edmonton Yard, a 92-acre site south of the North Saskatchewan River and downtown Edmonton;
– Lucien L’allier, a three-acre site across the street from the Bell Centre in downtown Montreal that has direct access to  the Metro and commuter rail lines.

CP has 45 surplus properties

A recent CP investor presentation mentioned a surplus real estate portfolio of more than 45 properties suitable for development, sale or lease that cover more than 4,000 acres, according to a report issued by Sam Damiani, director of institutional equity research, real estate for TD Securities Inc.  It’s estimated that CP’s surplus real estate is worth approximately $1 billion undeveloped and more than $2 billion with investment.

Dream chief executive officer Michael Cooper was pleased that his firm submitted the winning proposal from the many that were submitted to the railway company, but said it’s too early to provide details about what the joint venture will involve and that no specific plans had been developed yet.

“Our job is to work with Canadian Pacific to look at the properties and see what their best uses are. We expect that will include industrial, retail, office and residential.”

The joint venture’s name refers to Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, who became CP Rail’s second president in 1888. He’s credited with overseeing the construction of Canada’s first transcontinental railway and CP Rail’s expansion into luxury hotels.

Dream has approximately $14.7 billion of assets under management in North America and Europe. Its business scope encompasses: residential land development; housing and condominium development; asset management for three TSX-listed real estate investment trusts; one TSX-listed diversified, hard asset alternatives trust; investments in and management of Canadian renewable energy infrastructure; and commercial property ownership.


Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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