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SmartCentres JVs on GTA development land, seniors homes

SmartCentres REIT (SRU-UN-T) has announced two major development partnerships in Toronto and surr...

SmartCentres REIT (SRU-UN-T) has announced two major development partnerships in Toronto and surrounding municipalities, buying land near Yonge and Davisville for a multiresidential project, and teaming up with Revera to construct four more seniors living buildings.

In Toronto, SmartCentres and Greenwin have entered into a joint venture to develop a purpose-built apartment building on 1.15 acres in the mid-town neighbourhood. The partners will jointly build, own and manage the property.

SmartCentres, Penguin Group of Companies and Revera Inc., will also expand an existing partnership to build, own and operate four additional retirement living residences in and around the Greater Toronto Area.

Yonge and Davisville development

SmartCentres provided few specific details about the Yonge and Davisville project in its release Thursday afternoon. However, the property has been part of Greenwin’s holdings for over 60 years.

“We are very pleased to once again partner with Greenwin on this important property located strategically in the heart of Toronto,” said Mitchell Goldhar, the executive chairman of SmartCentres, in the release.

“Steps away from the Davisville TTC subway along with an abundance of restaurants and a myriad of amenities along Yonge Street, I am confident that this will become one of the jewels in the SmartCentres REIT portfolio,” Goldhar added.

“This acquisition reaffirms our commitment to focus on recurring revenue growth in purpose-built apartments, seniors, office and self-storage.”

“For Greenwin, this project represents a return to our roots, which stretch back to the 1960s in the Davisville Village,” said Kevin Green, president of Greenwin, in the release. “Six decades later, we’re excited to continue that legacy of shaping mid-town Toronto’s skyline.

“We are confident that this collaboration will lead to the creation of an exceptional rental community.”

This new venture follows a previously announced joint acquisition of 7.8 acres along the Kempenfelt Bay (Lake Simcoe) waterfront in Barrie, located about 70 kilometres north of Toronto.

The two acquisitions represent a development pipeline of over 2,000 purpose-built rental units and aggregate development value in excess of $1 billion.

Four new seniors residences

The expansion of the partnership with Revera means the companies will now be investing a total of about $825 million to develop 1,565 units in seven locations.

The four new projects represent about 1,000 units and an investment of $525 million.

Three of the four new locations are joint ventures between SmartCentres and Revera: in Barrie (Collier and Owen Streets); Markham (Main and Wilson Streets); and Oakville (Garden Drive and Lakeshore Boulevard). The fourth development is between Penguin and Revera in Toronto (Bathurst and Wilson Roads).

The previously announced joint venture projects between SmartCentres and Revera are located in Vaughan (two projects) and Oakville, also in the GTA. These projects were announced in February 2019.

“Given our portfolio, we are very well-positioned to respond to the market demand for seniors’ housing,” said Peter Forde, president and CEO of SmartCentres, in the release.

“Our growing pipeline with Revera aligns with our strategy to extract deeply embedded value from our existing properties by generating additional reoccurring non-retail income.”

The buildings will comprise a mix of seniors’ apartments, assisted-living units, independent-living units and memory-care units. All are designed to meet the growing demands of an aging population.

“These four exciting new Ontario projects in joint ventures with SmartCentres and Penguin, when added to the three GTA projects we announced together a year ago, are opening up tremendous new opportunities to offer exceptional, diverse options for older adults in this province,” said Thomas Wellner, president and CEO of Revera, in the release.

“For Revera, these developments are a big part of our long-term strategic focus on growth in key markets to enhance the aging experience for our residents.”

About SmartCentres

SmartCentres REIT is one of Canada’s largest fully integrated REITs, featuring 157 properties across the country. SmartCentres has $9.7 billion in assets and owns over 34 million square feet of retail space with over 98 per cent occupancy, on 3,500 acres of owned land.

SmartCentres’ $12.1-billion intensification program ($5.5 billion at SmartCentres’ share) represents the REIT’s major development focus. It consists of rental apartments, condos, seniors’ residences and hotels under the SmartLiving banner; and retail, office, and storage facilities under the SmartCentres banner.

The intensifications will produce an additional 27.3 million square feet of space within the next five years, of which 13.3 million square feet is already underway.

About Penguin Group

Penguin Group of Companies is a private company owned by Goldhar, which owns real estate across Canada including a 50 per cent interest in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre 100-acre master planned development.

Penguin’s portfolio includes 12 properties co-owned with Walmart and the Cleveland House and the Rock Golf Club.

Penguin is also developing a network of Penguin Pick-Up locations for online purchases and online food marketplace Penguin Fresh. The Penguin Pick-Up network has 116 locations, including some co-branded with Walmart.

About Greenwin Corp.

Greenwin is one of Canada’s largest privately owned, full-service property management and development firms.

Headquartered in Toronto, Greenwin focuses on multifamily housing, non-profit and affordable housing, social housing and commercial properties. Greenwin manages more than $3.3 billion in real estate assets, consisting of 20,000 residential units and one million square feet of commercial space.

About Revera

Revera is a Canadian-owned and -headquartered owner, investor, developer and operator in the seniors living sector. Through its portfolio of partnerships, Revera owns or operates more than 500 properties across Canada, the U.S and the U.K. serving more than 55,000 seniors.


* Revera, SmartCentres, Penguin build 3 GTA seniors homes

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