Domenico joined Partners in 2013, became chief operating officer in 2014, and was soon named CEO as the REIT went through a complete overhaul following years of turmoil. She was interim CEO for about a year before being handed the permanent position in mid-2015.
Prior to joining Partners, Domenico built an impressive resume over 20 years in commercial real estate, which included working with Oxford Properties, Ivanhoé Cambridge and alongside some of Canada’s largest pension fund developers.
“We wish to thank Jane for her service over the past several years. With the sale last year of our Western Canadian properties, and the pending sale of our Quebec properties, now is the logical time for Jane to move on to other challenges, and we wish her well in her future endeavours,” said C. Ian Ross, chair of the board of trustees, in a release announcing her resignation.
Ross will take on the role of interim CEO, including day-to-day operations and completion of the previously announced sale of Partners’ Quebec properties.
In its release, Partners says “the board does not expect these matters to impact the completion of the Quebec sale transaction.”
Lifted Partners out of years of turmoil
Domenico spent her first couple of years at the helm transitioning Partners into a more stable entity. Prior to her arrival, the trust had undergone a name change (it was originally known as Charter REIT after its inception in 2007), governance and legal battles with a major shareholder and the resignation of its board of directors.
That led to the strategic review and the arrival of Domenico.
Its total asset value was estimated in 2016 at about $521 million, but the REIT carried a heavy debt load of $365 million at the time. Soon after, Partners decided to divest its Western Canada properties, raising about $50 million in net proceeds.
“If we can’t raise money in the marketplace, then we have to raise money through property dispositions,” Domenico told RENX at the time. The plan was to use some of the funds to pay down debt, and invest other proceeds into existing properties.
However, soon after the Western Canada sale, Partners put its Quebec assets on the block and then announced a “strategic review” of all its remaining assets.
At its height, Partners held 36 retail and commercial properties from Quebec to British Columbia, comprising about 2.5 million square feet of leasable area.
Partners continues to own 23 retail properties in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, aggregating approximately 1.7 million square feet of leasable space.
It manages a portfolio of retail and mixed-use community and neighbourhood shopping centres located in both primary and secondary markets located mainly in Ontario and Quebec.
When the Quebec sale completes, Partners will have a dozen properties remaining, 11 in Ontario and one free-standing retail site in Manitoba.