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LiUNA, Fengate acquire Toronto's Concorde Corp. Centre | RENX – Real Estate News EXchange

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IMAGE: The Concorde Corp. Centre in Toronto. (Courtesy Artis REIT)

The Concorde Corp. Centre in Toronto. (Courtesy Artis REIT)

Fengate Asset Management, on behalf of the LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada (LPFCEC), has announced the acquisition of the 567,619-square-foot Concorde Corporate Centre in Toronto.

The centre is being acquired from Artis REIT, which bought the complex in 2010.

Spanning 7.7 acres, the property consists of three office towers, the inter-connected 1 and 3 Concorde Gate as well as 12 Concorde Gate, all of which are designated BOMA BEST Gold. Constructed in 1988, the complex is located in an evolving office node at Don Mills and Eglinton in the City of Toronto.

“The Concorde Gate office community is well located along several transit nodes and is complimentary to the 175 Wynford acquisition in Toronto that we made earlier this year,” said Jaime McKenna, managing director and group head of real estate for Fengate, in the announcement Tuesday morning. “This has been a busy year in real estate for the Fengate team, and we look forward to working with this impressive property with a focus on continued excellence, on behalf of our investors.”

Fengate will assume asset management, property management and development opportunities for the property.

Financial details of the transaction were not released. When it acquired the property as part of a portfolio in 2010, Artis paid $87 million.

Concorde Corp. Centre well located

“LiUNA is proud of this important investment in the Toronto region, with our pension fund investing in the continued economic growth of our country’s largest urban and business centre,” said Joseph Mancinelli, LiUNA International vice-president and regional manager for Central and Eastern Canada, in the announcement. “Concorde Corporate Centre is a high-profile, high-quality real estate investment for LiUNA that is an excellent addition to our members’ pension fund’s extensive portfolio.”

The location of the complex offers numerous transit options.

Upon completion of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, the property will provide pedestrian access to the downtown core via. The final stop of the proposed Ontario Line, at the Ontario Science Centre, is located within one kilometre, connecting the node throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

The site also offers local pedestrian access to residential neighbourhoods, amenities and greenspace, as well as vehicular access to Highway 401, the Don Valley Parkway, and Gardiner Expressway.

Artis continues asset divestments

The divestment is the latest in a two-year series of property dispositions by Artis REIT. The Winnipeg-based trust originally announced it planned to divest up to $1 billion of non-core assets, and has since added about $500 million to that total.

Up to the end of Q3 2020, Artis had disposed of about $1 billion of the assets it planned to shed, recycling some of the capital into new acquisitions, and using the rest for a variety of purposes including debt reduction and unit purchases.

Most recently Artis has been engaged in a nasty fight for control of the REIT with a group of dissident shareholders led by Sandpiper Group. That dispute will come to a head in February when unitholders will vote on a new board of trustees.

About LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada

Established in 1972, LPFCEC is one of the fastest growing multi-employer pension funds across Canada, voted among the top-10 pension funds by Benefits Canada.

With a diverse investment portfolio and $8 billion in assets LPFCEC has yielded positive returns for the plan, and has created many needed institutions across North America through public-private partnerships and alternatives.

About Fengate Asset Management

Fengate is an alternative investment manager focused on real estate, infrastructure and private equity strategies.

With offices in Toronto, Oakville and Houston, Fengate has established itself as one of the most active real asset investors and developers in North America.

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RioCan cuts payouts as COVID-19 challenges outlook for retail real estate – BayToday

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TORONTO — RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust says it is cutting its payouts to unitholders by a third as the COVID-19 pandemic creates an uncertain future for shopping centres. 

RioCan, which counts Dollarama, Canadian Tire and Costco among its tenants, says that it is slashing its monthly payout to eight cents per unit, down from 12 cents.

The company says the cut will save about $152 million per year, which the company will use for expanding investments in residential real estate, as well as paying down debt and buybacks. 

RioCan says the ongoing uncertainty from the pandemic influenced the board’s decision to make the cut, which starts with the February payout for January 2021.

The decision comes after RioCan’s third quarter report said it had collected about 93 per cent of rent billed during the quarter, but that 22 per cent of its tenants were potentially vulnerable to the pandemic, such as movie theatres, gyms and sit-down restaurants.

Chief executive Edward Sonshine says RioCan still has a well-positioned portfolio and solid tenants, and the new baseline for payouts will help the REIT’s transformation, as it plans to move out of malls that house hard-hit fashion retailers.

“As RioCan continues to navigate through the uncertain retail landscape created by the COVID-19 pandemic and faces an unknown length and breadth of closures, the board has taken the prudent action of reducing our distribution,” Sonshine said in a statement. 

“A more conservative payout ratio is important in this undeniably challenging environment.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX: REI.UN)

The Canadian Press

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COVID as catalyst: How real estate in Ottawa changed in 2020 – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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When the number of residential house sales plummeted more than 50 per cent year over year last April and May, you could be forgiven for concluding this was going to be a very ugly year for thousands of Ottawa brokers.

Because price hikes slowed dramatically at the same time, you might also have seen a sliver of hope for first-time home buyers, assuming they hadn’t been punched in the gut by COVID-inspired economic lockdowns.

Remarkably, it turned out to be a very good year for brokers and a rather stressful one for anyone trying to find a house to buy at prices they once believed were reasonable.  This according to the latest data published Thursday by the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“The number of our year to date transactions are now on par with 2019,” board president Deb Burgoyne said. “If we had more supply, sales would be even higher.”

Indeed, realtors across greater Ottawa — which includes towns within commuting distance — sold nearly 13,800 properties during the 11 months ended Nov. 30. That was up about two per cent from the same period last year.

Perhaps the bigger surprise was the 19.6 per cent surge in the price paid for residential properties, which averaged $581,100 during this period. It was a similar pattern for condominiums, which changed hands at an average $361,700 year to date, up 19 per cent against the comparable stretch in 2019.

Multiple catalysts were at play, including historically low interest rates (making for relatively inexpensive mortgages), a shortage of listings and, not least, a rush by homeowners for more space in the era of COVID-19 — whether in the form of larger home offices or physical acreage in outlying areas.

The play for more space can be seen in the detailed sales data for greater Ottawa. Year to date realtors have sold about 2,100 residential properties in 15 nearby towns for an average of $450,300. While volumes are just a bit ahead of where they were last year, prices have surged nearly 25 per cent.

This compares with a 19 per cent price gain to nearly $640,000 for residential properties inside the City of Ottawa.

Of the eight towns recording the largest price gains year to date, four were in the west (Pakenham, Braeside-McNab, Mississippi Mills and Arnprior), while two each were east (Russell, Rockland) and south (Kemptville East and Beckwith Township). Residential properties in Pakenham jumped most in price (37 per cent to nearly $500,000). Average sale prices within this group ranged from nearly $400,000 for Arnprior properties to $596,000 for rural properties in Beckwith Township, which is between Carleton Place and Smiths Falls.

The hunt for greater space was also evident within the City of Ottawa, where four of the top five real estate districts ranked by price growth were semi-rural. These included: Bells Corners and area (average price year to date was $586,000 — up 38 per cent); Greely ($704,000 — a gain of 31 per cent); Manotick and area ($866,000 — up 27.5 per cent) and Carp and area ($743,000 — a jump of 25.5 per cent).

Indeed, all rural and semi-rural districts saw house price gains greater than those posted by brokers within the city, with the exception of Dunrobin, where 158 residences were sold for an average $539,000. That represented a relatively modest gain of less than 12 per cent compared to the first 11 months of 2019.

In most other years, of course, that would have been something for sellers to celebrate.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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COVID as catalyst: How real estate in Ottawa changed in 2020 – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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When the number of residential house sales plummeted more than 50 per cent year over year last April and May, you could be forgiven for concluding this was going to be a very ugly year for thousands of Ottawa brokers.

Because price hikes slowed dramatically at the same time, you might also have seen a sliver of hope for first-time home buyers, assuming they hadn’t been punched in the gut by COVID-inspired economic lockdowns.

Remarkably, it turned out to be a very good year for brokers and a rather stressful one for anyone trying to find a house to buy at prices they once believed were reasonable.  This according to the latest data published Thursday by the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“The number of our year to date transactions are now on par with 2019,” board president Deb Burgoyne said. “If we had more supply, sales would be even higher.”

Indeed, realtors across greater Ottawa — which includes towns within commuting distance — sold nearly 13,800 properties during the 11 months ended Nov. 30. That was up about two per cent from the same period last year.

Perhaps the bigger surprise was the 19.6 per cent surge in the price paid for residential properties, which averaged $581,100 during this period. It was a similar pattern for condominiums, which changed hands at an average $361,700 year to date, up 19 per cent against the comparable stretch in 2019.

Multiple catalysts were at play, including historically low interest rates (making for relatively inexpensive mortgages), a shortage of listings and, not least, a rush by homeowners for more space in the era of COVID-19 — whether in the form of larger home offices or physical acreage in outlying areas.

The play for more space can be seen in the detailed sales data for greater Ottawa. Year to date realtors have sold about 2,100 residential properties in 15 nearby towns for an average of $450,300. While volumes are just a bit ahead of where they were last year, prices have surged nearly 25 per cent.

This compares with a 19 per cent price gain to nearly $640,000 for residential properties inside the City of Ottawa.

Of the eight towns recording the largest price gains year to date, four were in the west (Pakenham, Braeside-McNab, Mississippi Mills and Arnprior), while two each were east (Russell, Rockland) and south (Kemptville East and Beckwith Township). Residential properties in Pakenham jumped most in price (37 per cent to nearly $500,000). Average sale prices within this group ranged from nearly $400,000 for Arnprior properties to $596,000 for rural properties in Beckwith Township, which is between Carleton Place and Smiths Falls.

The hunt for greater space was also evident within the City of Ottawa, where four of the top five real estate districts ranked by price growth were semi-rural. These included: Bells Corners and area (average price year to date was $586,000 — up 38 per cent); Greely ($704,000 — a gain of 31 per cent); Manotick and area ($866,000 — up 27.5 per cent) and Carp and area ($743,000 — a jump of 25.5 per cent).

Indeed, all rural and semi-rural districts saw house price gains greater than those posted by brokers within the city, with the exception of Dunrobin, where 158 residences were sold for an average $539,000. That represented a relatively modest gain of less than 12 per cent compared to the first 11 months of 2019.

In most other years, of course, that would have been something for sellers to celebrate.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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