RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust
TSX : REI.UN

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust

June 18, 2015 08:30 ET

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust Provides Update on Recent Development Activities

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 18, 2015) - RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust ("RioCan") (TSX:REI.UN) is pleased to provide an update on its development activities at RioCan Yonge Sheppard Centre and Windfield Farms, both in the Greater Toronto Area ("GTA") and its East Hills project in Calgary, Alberta. At its RioCan Yonge Sheppard Centre project, RioCan and its partner KingSett have received municipal approval for the redevelopment and expansion plan that includes a complete renovation and expansion of the retail space, as well as the addition of a multi-unit rental residential component with approximately 400 units. RioCan has entered into an agreement with Tribute Communities ("Tribute") to form a joint venture for a 30 acre portion of the lands at RioCan's Windfield Farms site for the purposes of residential development. Lastly, RioCan is nearing completion of the first phase and will commence construction on the second phase of its 886,000 square foot new format retail property in Calgary, Alberta, during the third quarter of 2015.

"The receipt of municipal approval for our RioCan Yonge Sheppard Centre redevelopment and expansion is a major milestone in this exciting development at the junction of two subway lines in this densely populated area of north Toronto," said Edward Sonshine, Chief Executive Officer of RioCan. "Our agreement with Tribute for residential development at our Windfield Farms site, demonstrates the flexibility of our development program and ability to manage the risk of our development pipeline. The residential strength and experience that Tribute brings to this site will enhance the appeal of this large scale mixed use development in a quickly growing community in the eastern part of the Greater Toronto Area."

RioCan Yonge Sheppard Centre

RioCan and its partner KingSett Capital have received zoning approval from the City of Toronto, for its application for the redevelopment and expansion of RioCan Yonge Sheppard Centre. RioCan expects to begin redevelopment at the site during the summer of 2015. The development plan, which will be completed in phases, includes a complete renovation and expansion of the retail portion of the property and interior of the mall. The total estimated cost for this redevelopment and expansion, including the residential component is projected to be approximately $300 million ($150 million at RioCan's interest). Once complete, approximately 104,000 square feet of new retail space will have been added. The plans also contemplate the addition of a new 39 storey residential tower containing approximately 317,000 square feet of rental residential space comprising approximately 400 units. Major tenants in the retail portion of the property will include Longo's, LA Fitness, Winners, Shoppers Drug Mart, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ("CIBC"), Bank of Montreal, and Toronto Dominion Bank ("TD Bank").

Windfield Farms

RioCan has entered into a conditional agreement with Tribute to form a joint venture with the purpose of developing a residential project on an approximately 30 acre portion ("Residential Lands") of RioCan's Windfield Farms development property. RioCan will sell a 50% interest in the Residential Lands to Tribute at a sale price of $3.1 million (at 50%) with closing subject to the joint venture receiving final approval for residential development of the project. Tribute will provide development, construction, sales and marketing services to the venture for the residential development of the site. RioCan continues to explore various retail and mixed-use development options for the remaining 70 acres of the approximately 100 acres of developable land at site located in the eastern GTA adjacent to the proposed highway 407 extension in Oshawa, Ontario.

East Hills

Construction is continuing at RioCan's East Hills project, a major greenfield new format retail development in the east end of Calgary, Alberta. This project is a joint venture development with RioCan (40%), CPPIB (37.5%), Lansdowne Equity Ventures, Ltd. (12.5%) and Tristar Communities Inc. (10%). Walmart, which anchors the first phase of the development opened in March 2014 and construction of the remaining retail pads in the first phase, which include tenants such as, CIBC, TD Bank, Starbucks, Bulk Barn and Sleep Country is nearing completion. These retail units will total 67,000 square feet with tenants expected to take occupancy in the third quarter of 2015. RioCan has applied for permits with the City of Calgary for the second phase of this development that will add an additional 210,000 square feet, with construction on this phase expected to commence in the third quarter of 2015. Initial tenant turnovers on this phase are anticipated to begin during the spring of 2016 with full completion of the phase expected in spring 2017. Major tenants at this phase of the property will include, Cineplex, Dollarama, Marshalls, Michaels, Mark's Work Wearhouse, Sport Chek, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart, and Osh Kosh B'Gosh/Carters. RioCan has entered into an agreement with Costco to sell a 15-acre parcel to be occupied by an approximately 160,000 square foot Costco store. The sale is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015. When construction of Costco is finished, the total completed square footage will be approximately 570,000 square feet of the total 886,000 square feet planned for the site. Negotiations are ongoing with other national tenants for the remaining phases of the site. The projected cost for this project is approximately $308 million ($123 million at RioCan's interest).

Other Development Projects:

RioCan is pleased to announce that the condominium portion of its Northeast Yonge and Eglington project currently under construction referred to as eCondos with its partners Metropia and Bazis in Toronto has sold all 625 condominium units. Construction of the entire site has commenced, with completion expected in early 2018. This development will also include a second 36 floor residential rental tower as well as 54,000 square feet of retail and commercial space anchored by a flagship TD Bank branch.

Forward Looking Advisory

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements made in this News Release (including the sections entitled "RioCan Yonge Sheppard Centre", "Windfield Farms", "East Hills", and "Other Development Projects"), and other statements concerning RioCan's objectives, its strategies to achieve those objectives, as well as statements with respect to management's beliefs, plans, estimates, and intentions, and similar statements concerning anticipated future events, results, circumstances, performance or expectations that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "outlook", "objective", "may", "will", "would", "expect", "intend", "estimate", "anticipate", "believe", "should", "plan", "continue", or similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or events. Such forward-looking statements reflect management's current beliefs and are based on information currently available to management. All forward-looking statements in this News Release are qualified by these cautionary statements.

Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future events or performance and, by its nature, is based on RioCan's current estimates and assumptions, which are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described under "Risks and Uncertainties" in RioCan's Management's Discussion and Analysis for the period ended March 31, 2015, which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this News Release. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those related to: liquidity and general market conditions; tenant concentrations and related risk of bankruptcy, occupancy levels and defaults; lease renewals and rental increases; retailer competition; access to debt and equity capital; interest rate and financing risk; joint ventures and partnerships; the relative illiquidity of real property; unexpected costs or liabilities related to acquisitions and dispositions; development risk associated with construction commitments, project costs and related approvals; environmental matters; litigation; reliance on key personnel; management information systems; unitholder liability; income and indirect taxes; U.S. investments, property management and foreign currency risk; and credit ratings.

RioCan currently qualifies as a real estate investment trust for tax purposes and intends to continue to qualify for future years. The Income Tax Act (Canada) contains provisions which potentially impose tax on publicly traded trusts which qualify as specified investment flow-through entities (the SIFT Provisions). However, the SIFT Provisions do not impose tax on a publicly traded trust which qualifies as a real estate investment trust (REIT). Should RioCan no longer qualify as a REIT under the SIFT Provisions, certain statements contained in this MD&A may need to be modified.

The Trust's US subsidiary qualifies as a REIT for US income tax purposes. The subsidiary expects to distribute all of its US taxable income (if any) to Canada and is entitled to deduct such distributions for US income tax purposes. The subsidiary's qualification as a REIT depends on the REIT's satisfaction of certain asset, income, organizational, distribution, unitholder ownership and other requirements on a continuing basis. The Trust anticipates that the subsidiary will continue to qualify as a US REIT in the future.

Other factors, such as general economic conditions, including interest rate and foreign exchange rate fluctuations, may also have an effect on RioCan's results of operations. Material factors or assumptions that were applied in drawing a conclusion or making an estimate set out in the forward-looking information may include, but are not limited to: a stable retail environment; relatively low and stable interest costs; a continuing trend toward land use intensification, including residential development in high growth markets; access to equity and debt capital markets to fund, at acceptable costs, the future growth program to enable the Trust to refinance debts as they mature; and the availability of purchase opportunities for growth in Canada and the U.S..

For a description of additional risks that could cause actual results to materially differ from management's current expectations, see "Risks and Uncertainties" in RioCan's Management's Discussion and Analysis in its 2014 Annual Report, and for the period ended March 31, 2015, and in "Risks and Uncertainties" in RioCan's AIF. Although the forward-looking information contained in this News Release is based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that actual results will be consistent with this forward-looking information. Certain statements included in this News Release may be considered "financial outlook" for purposes of applicable Canadian securities laws, and as such the financial outlook may not be appropriate for purposes other than this News Release. The forward-looking information contained in this News Release is made as of the date of this News Release, and should not be relied upon as representing RioCan's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this News Release.

Except as required by applicable law, RioCan under takes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About RioCan

RioCan is Canada's largest real estate investment trust with a total enterprise value of approximately $16.2 billion as at March 31, 2015. It owns and manages Canada's largest portfolio of shopping centres with ownership interests in a portfolio of 353 retail properties containing more than 79 million square feet, including 48 grocery anchored and new format retail centres containing 13 million square feet in the United States as at March 31, 2015. RioCan's portfolio also includes 15 properties under development in Canada. For further information, please refer to RioCan's website at www.riocan.com.

Contact Information

  • RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust
    Cynthia Devine
    Executive Vice President,
    Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary
    (647) 253-4973
    www.riocan.com