RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust Announces Partnership in Masterplan Community at Queen & Coxwell in Toronto Toronto Stock Exchange:REI-UN
TORONTO, April 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (“RioCan” or the “Trust”) (TSX: REI.UN) today announced a new mixed-use project (“QA Masterplan”) at Queen and Coxwell in Toronto. This project is to be developed in a 50/50 partnership with Context (together with RioCan – the “Partners”) and in collaboration with the City of Toronto and the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (“TCHC”). The QA master plan will help revitalize the neighborhood and cover different levels of housing affordability with housing types ranging from condos to market to affordable rental units. According to forecasts, the condominium component (“QA Condos”) achieved 88% of the advance sales.
Steps from the waterfront at Lake Ontario and Ashbridges Bay in Toronto East, the 3.5-acre property in Queen and Coxwell is between the coveted neighborhoods of Leslieville and Beaches. The well thought-out QA master plan includes:
- Development of a new building to replace the TCHC’s existing 120 residential units on the site, 100% of which will be retained and held by TCHC;
- Adding new living space consisting of 367 new condominiums, 183 market rental units and 50 affordable rental units, and 32 affordable rental units that will be sold to the city at a set price upon completion; and
- Building ~ 16,000 square meters of new podium space.
“We are thrilled to be helping create a new community that will provide much-needed housing for all income levels and introduce key retail facilities for this growing neighborhood. The significant advances in pre-sales of condominiums in this emerging mixed-use community are a clear indication of their desirability and demand for this type of product, “said Jonathan Gitlin, President & CEO of RioCan. “This project fits in perfectly with our development into Canada’s leading primary market, the mixed-use REIT. It will allow us to diversify income and wealth through earmarked leases and expand our growing stock of condominiums, which will fuel our growth in FFO and NAV per unit. “
The site is currently owned by TCHC. The transfer of the land title to the partners is expected in the summer of 2021 after the partial lot has been separated. From this point on, the partners will proceed with the demolition. In the meantime, the partners have continued the preparatory phases of the project including the pre-sale of condominiums. QA condominiums are part of the 1,609 condominium and townhouse units currently being built or pre-sold by RioCan and its partners, as summarized in the table below:
|Number of Units
|RioCan owned||Estimated inventory profit
(at RioCan Interest)
|Estimated completion date|
|UC Uptowns – Townhouses
Windfields Farm – Oshawa, ON
|153||50||%.||$ 4.5M – $ 5.0M||2021-2022|
|UC Tower – condominiums
Windfields Farm – Oshawa, ON
|503||50||%.||$ 16.0M – $ 17.0M||2022|
|11YV – condominiums
Yorkville – Toronto, ON
|586||50||%.||$ 72.0M – $ 76.0M||2025|
|QA – condominiums
Queen & Coxwell – Toronto, ON
|367||50||%.||$ 40.0M – $ 50M||2024-2025|
1) Based on very preliminary estimates
RioCan offers many options to take advantage of the 42mm² identified GFA density inherent in its existing portfolio. In addition to the above projects, the trust will continue to use some of this density for condominium and home development, particularly as components of larger multi-phase mixed-use communities. These inventory projects are another lever for RioCan’s future growth. The importance of this use will be determined by the prevailing market conditions and the composition of the trust’s balance sheet.
Building on RioCan’s history of investing in the communities it serves and in line with its environmental, social and governance strategy, partners through this project will support the city’s community economic development initiative. Partner contributions to the initiative include a $ 100,000 scholarship fund for TCHC tenants, an economic and social development fund of $ 250,000, and a minimum of $ 500,000 worth of employment opportunities.
The partners have applied for funding through the RCFI Financing Initiative to help finance the non-condominium components of the project. RCFI funding is provided directly by Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (“CMHC”) to eligible affordable rental housing projects and typically bears interest rates lower than standard CMHC insured loans. If the application is successful, such funding will serve to further improve the overall economics of the project.
RioCan has purchase commitments to purchase Context’s 50% stake in the retail and residential rental components of the project at set purchase prices when certain set thresholds such as achieving a certain stabilized NOI target, deadline, or certain planning compliance requirements are met. Further information will be given at land transfer and the start of project construction.
Context was founded in 1997 and focuses on developing mixed-use, condominium, and affordable rental housing in the central Toronto neighborhoods. Context is a pioneer in intensifying the inner city with buildings based on high quality design, sustainability and innovative urban planning.
RioCan is one of Canada’s largest real estate mutual funds. RioCan owns, manages, and develops retail-oriented, increasingly mixed-use properties in prime, high-density, transit-oriented areas where Canadians want to shop, live and work. As of December 31, 2020, our portfolio includes 223 properties with a total net rental area of approximately 38.3 million square feet (in the interests of RioCan), including office, rental and 14 development properties. To find out more about us, please visit www.riocan.com.
This press release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. This information reflects RioCan’s goals, our strategies to achieve those goals, and statements regarding management’s beliefs, estimates, and intentions with respect to expected future events or expectations that are not historical facts. Forward-looking information can generally be identified through the use of forward-looking terms such as “outlook”, “goal”, “may”, “will”, “dignity”, “expectation”, “intention”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe” , “should,” “plan,” “continue,” or similar expressions indicative of future results or events.
This forward-looking information reflects management’s current beliefs and is based on information currently available to management. All forward-looking information in this press release is qualified by these cautionary statements.
Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future events or performance and is, by its nature, based on RioCan’s current estimates and assumptions, which are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including the MD&A for the period ended December 31, as described in the “Risks and Uncertainties” section of RioCan. December 25, 2020 and in our latest annual information form, which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the forward-looking information contained in this press release.
Although the forward-looking information contained in this press release is based on reasonable assumptions made by management, there can be no guarantee that actual results will correspond to these forward-looking information. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak as of the date of this press release and should not be taken as a representation of the views of RioCan at any time after the date of this press release. Management assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason, except as required by law.