Morguard Investments Limited is on a buying spree. Already this month the company has acquired an office tower and a number of industrial buildings in Edmonton as well as two regional shopping malls in Ontario and one in British Columbia.
What’s truly notable is that Morguard made all of the purchases for pension fund clients, demonstrating that – as anticipated – pension funds are becoming more aggressive in the market heading into 2014.
Morguard purchased 44 Capital, a 372,000-square-foot, class A office tower in downtown Edmonton in the heart of the government district. The company says the tower comes with high investment grade tenants.
On behalf of HOOPP
The acquisition was made on behalf of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) and an unidentified pension fund client.
The second purchase, also in Edmonton, consists of a class A industrial portfolio of five buildings totalling 544,000 sq. ft. The buildings are 100 per cent leased and include the Brier Business Centre, Loomis Express, EMCO, and Crossroads A and B.
Morguard acquired the buildings for the MIL Industrial Fund II Limited Partnership and an unidentified pension fund client.
The two purchases added up to more than $200 million.
Stephen Taylor, president and COO of Morguard Investments Limited, said in a statement that Edmonton is showing robust growth and is a market offering solid investment opportunities for institutional investors.
“The city recorded the highest level of GDP growth across the major metropolitan markets in Canada in 2012, expanding at 5.1 per cent, well above the national average of 1.9 per cent,” Taylor said, adding the growth came from its position supporting services to the oil and gas industry.
HOOPP already owns Telus Plaza in Edmonton, among other properties. Morguard will take over property and asset management for both purchases.
Trio of regional shopping centres
Earlier this month, Morguard announced a deal to purchase three regional shopping centres for HOOPP for more than $500 million. The other purchaser involved in the deal was Morguard Real Estate Investment Trust.
The acquisitions involved Intercity Shopping Centre in Thunder Bay and New Sudbury Centre in Sudbury. The former is a 460,349-sq.-ft. single level, enclosed shopping centre built in 1982 and renovated/expanded from 1994 to 1996. Sears Canada and Target anchor the centre.
New Sudbury Centre is a 576,673-sq.-ft. single-level, enclosed shopping centre built in 1965 and renovated in 2005. A Walmart Supercentre and a Sears anchor the centre.
Morguard REIT also acquired Pine Centre Mall in Prince George, B.C. The 475,177-sq.-ft. shopping centre, built in 1974 and renovated and expanded in 2008, is anchored by Sears and Target stores.
Morguard Investments Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Morguard Corporation based in Mississauga. The real estate and property management company has extensive retail, office, industrial and residential holdings owned directly and through its investments in Morguard REIT and Morguard North American Residential REIT.