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Crombie REIT selling 15 more retail properties to Oak Street

Crombie REIT (CRR-UN-T) will sell a majority non-managing interest in 15 additional grocery store...

IMAGE: The Saddletown Circle Safeway in Calgary is one of 15 retail sites being sold by Crombie REIT to Oak Street Real Estate Capital of Chicago. (Courtesy Crombie REIT)

The Saddletown Circle Safeway in Calgary is one of 15 retail sites being sold by Crombie REIT to Oak Street Real Estate Capital of Chicago. (Courtesy Crombie REIT)

Crombie REIT (CRR-UN-T) will sell a majority non-managing interest in 15 additional grocery store-anchored retail properties across Canada to Oak Street Real Estate Capital of Chicago for $193 million.

This is the second major asset sale to be announced in recent weeks as Crombie recycles funds to invest in its ongoing development and redevelopment projects at other properties (see Crombie nears midpoint of $511M redevelopment plan). In April, Crombie announced a similar transaction with Oak Street, a majority non-managing share of 26 properties for $161 million.

“This partial disposition is another example of our team’s solid execution of our strategy,” said Don Clow, Crombie’s president and CEO, in a release. “Priced in line with IFRS fair values, it provides important funding to facilitate significant progress towards completion of our first five major development projects, which are expected to be nicely accretive to Net Asset Value and AFFO.

“This transaction strengthens our balance sheet through debt reduction and enables pre-funding of our major development activities well into 2020, aligning with our long-term funding strategy.”

In both transactions, Oak Street is receiving an 89 per cent interest in the properties. Crombie retains an 11 per cent ownership interest and will continue to manage and operate the properties.

The transaction is scheduled to close in the fall of 2019. The first transaction closed on April 25.

Portfolio 100 per cent occupied

None of the assets are included in Crombie’s mixed-use development pipeline.

“These properties are an excellent addition to our portfolio, which is designed to create stable long-term cash flow backed by investment-grade rated corporations,” said Marc Zahr, CEO and managing partner of Oak Street, in the release.

“Crombie’s industry leadership and long-term commitment to invest in these locations fits perfectly with our income-based strategy.”

The portfolio comprises about 721,000 square feet and is 100 per cent occupied. All the properties are subject to long-term leases with grocery stores under Sobeys or its related banners.

Crombie will headlease the properties from a new jointly owned entity, with terms that mirror the terms of the existing leases.

Oak Street will assume its share of 12 mortgages which will be assigned to the new jointly owned entity, with Crombie remaining as guarantor on a portion of the mortgages until maturity.

Proceeds to Crombie, net of costs, are estimated to be $102.6 million.

Crombie says it will reinvest the proceeds into its mixed-use major development pipeline, funding capital investments in Sobeys-occupied properties, repaying existing indebtedness, and general purposes.

The sale is subject to receipt of Competition Act approval and other customary approvals.

Property portfolio details:

Property Property Address City, Province Anchor Tenant Property GLA
1 Bradford 40 Melbourne Dr Bradford, ON Sobeys 35,230
2 Castleridge 55 Castleridge Blvd NE Calgary, AB Safeway 56,437
3 Saddletowne Circle 850 Saddletowne Circle Calgary, AB Safeway 50,945
4 Chilliwack 45850 Yale Road Chilliwack, BC Safeway 51,801
5 Fort McMurray 9601 Franklin Ave Fort McMurray, AB Safeway 40,397
6 Kamloops 945 Columbia St. W Kamloops, BC Safeway 49,745
7 Lebourgneuf 555 Boulevard des Grandins Quebec, QC IGA Extra 58,568
8 Orangeville 500 Riddell Rd Orangeville, ON Sobeys 46,337
9 Panavista 612 Main St Dartmouth, NS Sobeys 47,897
10 Ropewalk Lane 45 Ropewalk Lane St John’s, NL Sobeys 50,420
11 Selkirk 318 Manitoba Ave Selkirk, MB Safeway 42,122
12 Spruce Grove 94 McLeod Ave Spruce Grove, AB Safeway 50,825
13 Sherbrooke 3950 Rue King Ouest Sherbrooke, QC IGA Extra 52,415
14 Smithers 3664 Hwy #16 Smithers, BC Safeway 43,096
15 Stony Plain 4202 South Park Dr Stony Plain, AB Safeway 44,463
Total 720,698

BMO Capital Markets Real Estate Inc. is acting as exclusive advisor to Crombie REIT on this transaction.

Crombie’s developments, redevelopments

Crombie has a pipeline of two dozen sites for either development or redevelopment, executive vice president and COO Glenn Hynes told RENX in a recent interview. It is currently spending over $500 million on redevelopments at five existing properties in Oakville, Montreal, Vancouver, St. John’s and Langford, B.C.

The projects comprise about 1.4 million square feet of new leasable space; 452,000 square feet of commercial area and 976,000 square feet of residential rental space. The largest project is 520,000 square feet at the Bronte Village Mall in the Toronto suburb of Oakville, where Crombie has partnered 50-50 with Montreal’s PrinceDev on a $275-million addition of two rental apartment towers of 10 and 14 storeys, respectively.

“We think the value of those projects will be somewhere between $650 and $800 million, and that’s a big deal,”  Hynes told RENX.

Crombie also recently acquired a $32.4-million, 20.25-acre industrial site in Pointe-Claire, Que. Crombie will develop and own a 285,000-square-foot customer fulfillment centre at the property for Empire Company Ltd.’s (EMP-A-T) online grocery home delivery service. Empire is the parent company of Sobey’s, which maintains an ownership stake in the REIT. 

About Crombie and Oak Street

Crombie is one of the Canada’s leading national retail property landlords. Its strategy is to own, operate and develop a portfolio of grocery- and drugstore-anchored shopping centres, freestanding stores and mixed-use developments, primarily in Canada’s top urban and suburban markets.

Oak Street Real Estate Capital is a real estate investment management firm offering both commingled funds and separate accounts on behalf of both institutional and high-net-worth investors.

The firm focuses on acquiring properties net leased to investment grade-rated tenants and specializes in providing unique and flexible capital solutions to corporations, healthcare systems, universities, and government entities.

– With files from Kelly Roche


* Crombie nears midpoint of $511M redevelopment plan

* Crombie sells Canada-wide retail portfolio for $161.6M

* Firm buys 50 per cent interest in seven Crombie retail properties

* Crombie sells 50 per cent stake in nine retail properties

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