In response to the sustained demand in Canada’s most desirable housing markets, the country’s largest real estate investment trust has laid out its plans for more redevelopment projects down the line.
Already targeting to build 10,000 residential units within the next 10 years, the Toronto-based RioCan REIT has announced its further intention to redevelop and incorporate housing into at least 50 of the 300 retail locations in its nationwide portfolio.
“The real estate market is so hot right now, there’s no way it’s going to stay like this forever,” RioCan CEO Ed Sonshine told Bloomberg
“But you can’t do too many projects or you just won’t have the cash, and you don’t want your leverage to go up. We just got our credit rating upgraded we don’t want it to go right down again.”
Sonshine added that RioCan is focused on addressing the expected greater demand for rental properties in overheated Toronto, where sales numbers have defied all previous records and detached home prices have broken through the $1.25 million mark last year.
At present, RioCan is engaged in several major projects in Toronto, including the construction of two towers at least 36 stories high, and two 420-unit buildings that would be replacing a parking lot and a shopping center.
RioCan is also redeveloping a 7.6-acre parcel in West Toronto, in collaboration with Allied Properties REIT and Diamond Corporation. The $1.4-billion project is anticipated to yield approximately 3.1 million square feet of mixed-use space.
Currently valued at $8.3 billion, RioCan has returned 19 per cent over the past 12 months.
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