Starlight on apartment buying spree; to reorganize global trust

IMAGE: This 11-storey apartment building at 10 Highland Cres., in Kitchener is one of 18 buildings Starlight Investments has acquired in recent weeks. (Courtesy Starlight)

This 11-storey apartment building at 10 Highland Cres., in Kitchener is one of 18 buildings Starlight Investments has acquired in recent weeks. (Courtesy Starlight)

Starlight Investments has been on an apartment buying spree during the past couple of weeks and also announced Tuesday morning it will seek investor approval to reorganize its Starlight Hybrid Global Assets Trust (SCHG-UN-NE) as a private investment trust.

The apartment acquisitions involve a total of 18 buildings from Victoria to Toronto, comprising almost 900 units. The acquisitions were made in multiple transactions during the past few weeks. Starlight did not disclose financial details of the acquisitions.

Although few details were provided about the reorganization of the Hybrid Global Assets Trust, the three-year-old fund is focused on investing in institutional-quality assets in the global real estate and infrastructure sectors.

In the announcement, Starlight says full details of the reorganization will be provided in a package for unitholders which will be issued on June 18. If the move gets approval of 66.67 per cent of unitholders, Starlight intends to make the change by Aug. 20.

Unitholders will be able to vote on the reorganization during a special virtual meeting on July 28.

According to the most recent financial report issued by Starlight, as of Dec. 31, 2020 the trust held positions in the securities of four funds including Starlight’s Global Real Assets Limited Partnership, its Canadian Residential Growth Fund and its Private Global Real Estate Pool. It also held an interest in the EagleCrest Infrastructure Canada LP. In total, about $40 million had been invested.

Starlight’s Victoria apartment acquisition

The most recently announced acquisition is a portfolio of eight multiresidential buildings in Victoria, which contains a total of 485 units. They are:

– 948 Esquimalt Rd. – A five-storey mid-rise which contains six bachelor, 102 one-bedroom, 19 two-bedroom and nine three-bedroom units for a total of 136 apartments. The units include private balconies or patios and amenities include a fitness centre, storage lockers, on-site laundry and covered surface parking.

– 980 Wordsley St. – A 65-apartment, five-storey mid-rise comprised of 47 one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom units. The property includes on-site laundry on each floor and covered surface parking.

– 1035 Pendergast St. – A 57-unit, four-storey building comprised of two bachelor, 41 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom apartments. They include private balconies or patios. The property has on-site laundry, covered surface parking and storage lockers.

– 1030 Pendergrast St. – A four-storey building with seven bachelor, 39 one-bedroom and 11 two-bedroom units for a total of 57 apartments. They include private balconies or patios and the property has on-site laundry, covered surface parking and storage lockers.

– 3185 Tillicum Rd. and 275 Burnside Rd. – The two buildings were built in 2013 to LEED Platinum standards. 3185 Tillicum is a five-storey, 60-apartment mid-rise comprised of bachelor, one-bedroom and three-bedroom units. 275 Burnside is a six-storey mid-rise with eight bachelor, 16 one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom and four three-bedroom apartments for a total of 44 units. The units include quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, luxury plank flooring and closet organizers. The property includes on-site laundry, bicycle storage and covered parking.

– 3255 Quadra St. – The three-storey building is comprised of three bachelor, 12 one- bedrooms and 16 two-bedroom units (31 apartments). They offer private balconies or patios and the site offers on-site laundry and covered surface parking.

– 1126 Rockland Ave. – A four-storey building with six bachelor  and 29 one-bedroom units for a total of 35 suites. The property has on-site laundry and covered surface parking.

All of the Victoria acquisitions will be managed by Devon Properties.

Starlight’s other acquisitions

Starlight’s other acquisition in B.C. is a smaller building at 165 East 19th Street in North Vancouver, a three-storey property with 14 units.

In Ontario, its largest acquisition is a 375-unit portfolio in Kitchener-Waterloo, just west of the Greater Toronto Area. The growing cities, long known as one of Canada’s most significant tech hubs, has excellent highway and access to Toronto and a new light-rail transit system.

“Population growth, employment opportunities, business development and infrastructure expansion all play a key role in the continuing advancement of Kitchener-Waterloo and our decision to expand our multiresidential footprint in this high-tech corridor,” said Daniel Drimmer, Starlight’s president and CEO, in the announcement.

These properties include:

– 318, 332 and 352 Patricia Ave., Kitchener – The property includes three-storey concrete buildings containing 105 units (39 units in 318 Patricia, 33 units each in 332 and 352 Patricia). The one-, two- and three-bedroom units are equipped with furnished kitchens with stainless steel appliances and they offer on-site laundry and surface parking.

– 10 Highland Cres., Kitchener – 11-storey concrete mid-rise with one bachelor, 65 one-bedrooms and 95 two-bedrooms (161 units). The apartments have private balconies or patios, and the building has on-site laundry and underground and surface parking.

– 36 River Rd. East, Kitchener – A six-storey concrete mid-rise containing one bachelor, 10 one-bedrooms, 20 two-bedrooms and eight three-bedrooms (39 units). Some offer a private balcony or patio, and the site has on-site laundry and surface parking.

– 500 and 504 Glenelm Cres., Waterloo – The site has two, three-storey concrete buildings with a total of 71 one-, two- and three-bedroom units. They offer private balconies or patios, on-site laundry and surface parking.

Finally, Starlight acquired two adjacent concrete-construction three-storey buildings at 2893 and 2897 St. Clair Ave., East in Toronto, an area where it already owns several other multifamily properties. The buildings contain a mix of bachelor and one-bedroom apartments and offer laundry, surface parking and patio spaces.

Greenwin will manage all the newly acquired Ontario assets.

“This investment is a valuable addition based on its attractive location, alignment with our existing multiresidential platform and opportunity to enhance the livability of the neighbourhood,” Drimmer said in the announcement.

About Starlight Investments

Starlight Investments is a privately held, full service, real estate investment and asset management company.

The Toronto-based firm manages over $20 billion of assets on behalf of institutional joint ventures as well as publicly listed REITs, closed-end funds and investment funds and employs an experienced team of over 300 professionals.

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