Calloway Wraps Up $371M Purchase of 6 Canadian Retail Centers

Toronto-headquartered Calloway REIT has completed the acquisition of six open-air shopping centers in Canada from SmartCentres and Wal-Mart Canada Corp. The portfolio, which Calloway snapped up for a total of $371 million, will encompass an aggregate 1.7 million square feet upon completion. All six properties are to be expanded, and $86 million of the total acquisition cost will be shelled out over the next three years to accommodate construction. Calloway’s financing of the deal was a multi-faceted endeavor. The REIT relied on cash, in addition to $123 million of mortgage debt and acquisition loans secured by the portfolio; an additional $22 million in mortgage financing secured by existing Calloway properties; and the issuance of 707,173 units of a subsidiary limited partnership to a Calloway shareholder for $14.3 million. Three of the properties are located in Ontario and account for a total of approximately 843,000 square feet of rentable retail space in their post-expansion state. The 396,500-square-foot Scarborough SmartCentre, which includes leasehold and freehold interests of 40 percent and 60 percent, is in Toronto; the 177,500-square-foot Burlington SmartCentre is in Burlington; and the 414,900-square-foot Orleans SmartCentre calls Ottawa home. The group is rounded out by the 200,600-square-foot Sherbrooke SmartCentre in Sherbrooke, Quebec; Surrey, B.C.’s 245,900 Surrey SmartCentre; and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan’s Saskatoon SmartCentre, with 332,000 square feet of space. Wal-Mart is a lead tenant at all of the SmartCentres, while Home Depot also holds a lead spot at three of the properties in the portfolio, which features weighted average lease terms of 15.2 years. Additionally, the entire portfolio, developed between 2004 and 2007, is 100 percent leased. “The retail environment in Canada certainly is not as dire as it is in the States,” Steve Liew, Calloway vice president, finance, told CPN today. “We continue to see our retailers and tenants in good shape. We’re not noticing any negative impact to their businesses in terms vacancies or defaults.” Calloway owns and develops retail properties, and presently has a portfolio totaling 20.5 million square feet of leaseable space across Canada. The REIT’s stock opened on the Toronto Stock Exchange today at CAD 21.85.