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Leyad buys third Winnipeg asset, Johnston Terminal

Johnston Terminal in Winnipeg. (Courtesy Leyad)
Johnston Terminal in Winnipeg. (Courtesy Leyad)

Montreal-based Leyad has acquired its third property in as many months in Winnipeg, adding the landmark Johnston Terminal retail property to its holdings.

The 95-year-old, 79,000-square-foot, four-storey building is located at 25 Forks Market Rd., in The Forks district. It is a multi-tenant retail, commercial and facility which was originally built as a railway warehouse in the 1920s. 

The seller is Winnipeg-based Artis REIT (AX-UN.T), which is divesting properties to pay down its debt and improve its financial position.

Leyad did not disclose the purchase price.

In the announcement, Leyad calls the “trophy property” a “significant milestone” for the company. Tenants include Amazon, Manitobah Mukluk, the Teacher's Retirement Allowance Fund and the Old Spaghetti Factory.

"We are thrilled to add Johnston Terminal to our portfolio of exceptional properties," said Henry Zavriyev, CEO of Leyad, in the announcement. "This acquisition aligns perfectly with our acquisition profile, focusing on high-quality assets in key markets. Johnston Terminal's rich history, prime location and strong tenant mix make it a valuable addition to our portfolio."

Leyad buying in Winnipeg, Atlantic Canada

Leyad pledged to preserve Johnston Terminal's legacy.

"We see tremendous potential in Winnipeg's commercial real estate market," Zavriyev added. "Our investment in Johnston Terminal reflects our confidence in the city's economic growth and our ongoing commitment to investing in top-tier assets that deliver long-term value."

Leyad has been acquiring property in Winnipeg since February, when it kicked off the string of acquisitions by buying the CDI College Campus at 280 Main St., a 24,000–square-foot building which offers redevelopment potential for up to 180,000 square feet and 40 storeys.

In March, Leyad acquired a 263,430-square-foot distribution centre at 1450 Mountain Ave., in the Inkster Industrial Park. This multi-tenant property sits on 9.27 acres of land and the anchor tenant is Canada Goose.

Leyad was founded in 2016 when it bought a Montreal apartment building and has since grown to specialize in the design, construction and management of residential, commercial and mixed-use properties.

In addition to Winnipeg, it has also been an active buyer in Atlantic Canada in recent months, acquiring the 363,000-square-foot Wheeler Park Power Center on a 1.5-million-square-foot property in Moncton and the 182,031-square-foot North Sydney Mall in North Sydney, N.S.

The company is nearing 50 employees in two Greater Montreal offices and a Quebec City office.

Its portfolio comprises approximately 2,000 apartment units and, with the Winnipeg acquisitions, well over two million square feet of commercial and industrial space.

Artis has divested $700M in assets

Artis, on the other hand, has been on a year-long selling spree. The Winnipeg property was the second significant transaction involving Artis during the week.

It also entered an agreement to sell the 1.8-million-square-foot Park 8Ninety industrial park in Houston to U.S.-based KKR for $320 million. That property, completed in 2022, was developed by Artis and has been one of its prime industrial holdings.

With the closure of the two most recent divestments, Artis will have sold about $700 million of properties.

In other activity, Artis announced it has continued to expand its holdings in Dream Office REIT, acquiring an additional 379,900 units for $6.8 million. Artis now holds or controls 18.77 per cent of the shares of Dream Office REIT (D-UN-T).

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