TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 6, 2016) - Smart Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:SRU.UN) and Mitchell Goldhar today announced that they have completed a lease transaction with Harley Davidson in the KPMG Tower at SmartCentres Place in Vaughan. These new premises of Harley Davidson will be opening in January, 2017 and will represent Harley Davidson's new Canadian head office. The recently opened, 360,000 square foot KPMG Tower has direct access to the VMC subway station, which connects to downtown Toronto and is expected to be open and operational in December, 2017. "This area around the new subway is generating a great deal of activity and in no time a beautiful new urban centre will emerge" said Mr. Goldhar, Chairman of the Board of SmartREIT.
"Harley Davidson joins KPMG and PWC as key initial tenants in the largest urban mixed-use development in Canada" said Huw Thomas, SmartREIT's Chief Executive Officer. "Leases are nearing completion with additional tenants in the commercial, financial and legal fields, such that further announcements are expected soon," added Thomas.
SmartCentres Place is a 100-acre, 17 million square foot master planned development, connected to downtown Toronto by subway, as part of VMC. VMC, at Highway 400 and Highway 7, is a planning area envisioning 40 million square feet of density around the confluence of various mass transit, including the TTC University subway line's expansion, the new VIVA rapidway and York Regional Transit central bus station. Together these will form the critical elements of the transportation infrastructure serving this budding new centre of commerce, culture, recreation, open spaces and urban life. VMC is unique in that it is centrally located, serviced by the aforementioned subway and bus transit infrastructure and by Highways 400, 407, and 7. It is also unique in that it is currently surrounded substantially by green field, enabling a planned area embodying all the urban characteristics and amenities that modern city visionaries strive for, but generally have difficulty achieving because of physical, legal and ownership constraints. SmartCentres Place at VMC is distinctly positioned to expeditiously accomplish a European style urban centre.
SmartCentres Place in the VMC, which currently contains the KPMG Tower and will soon contain the recently announced 220,000 square foot PWC tower, includes 53 acres of land around the new subway station in a 50/50 joint venture between SmartREIT and Mr. Goldhar. The joint venture plans to develop approximately 8.0 million to 10.0 million square feet of commercial, residential and retail space on its land as part of a 100-acre master planned development, with the remainder of the land owned by Mr. Goldhar in partnership with others. Mr. Goldhar adds "we expect to be underway soon with the development of residential, as well as additional office and retail."
SmartREIT is one of Canada's largest real estate investment trusts with total assets in excess of $8.6 billion. It owns and manages in excess of 31 million square feet in value-oriented, principally Walmart-anchored retail centres, having the strongest national and regional retailers as well as strong neighbourhood merchants. In addition, SmartREIT is a joint-venture partner in the Toronto and Montreal Premium Outlets with Simon Property Group. SmartREIT's core vision is to provide a value-oriented shopping experience in all forms to Canadian consumers and to create high quality mixed use developments in urban settings.
With SmartREIT's 2015 acquisition of SmartCentres, SmartREIT has transformed into a fully integrated real estate provider. SmartREIT and SmartCentres have had a long and successful alliance, helping to provide Canadians with value-focused retail shopping centres across the country. Now, the alliance has grown even stronger, the result is a fully integrated real estate provider with expertise in planning, development, leasing, operations and construction - all under one roof . For more information on SmartREIT, visit www.smartreit.com.
About Mitchell Goldhar
Mitchell Goldhar is Chairman of the Board of SmartREIT and its largest unitholder. Mr. Goldhar, founder of SmartCentres has developed 56 million square feet in 265 shopping centres in all provinces across Canada, many anchored by a Walmart store. In 2015, Mr. Goldhar vended SmartCentres into SmartREIT, including 200 employees that formed the development platform, enabling the REIT to become fully integrated from site identification through development, construction, project management, site intensification, leasing and operations.
In addition, PII, Mr. Goldhar's private company is at various stages of development of 78 properties across Canada, including his interest in the VMC 100-acre master planned development and as a partner with Walmart in 14 development properties. Mr. Goldhar has also developed an emerging network of Penguin Pick-Up locations offering free, convenient pick-up locations for online purchases, and Penguin Fresh, an on-line food marketplace. Penguin Pick-up now has 50 locations.