Canadian REIT Expands Retail Portfolio with Four-Property Acquisition in Alberta

Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust plans to add four retail plaza properties to its current commercial portfolio in the Alberta area by the end of the month.

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust has announced an acquisition plan that would add four retail plaza properties to its current commercial portfolio. The company hopes to close the four deals it has lined up by the end of the month. The properties are all located in the Alberta area, and acquiring them will set Crombie back by an estimated $132 million. The deals will be made possible through the use of the REIT’s revolving credit facility and the proceeds of the $60 million prospectus unit offering and related private placement, completed at the end of 2012.

The four properties total 306,000 square feet of retail space bearing strong occupancy rates, and each one having solid anchor tenants or shadow anchors. The four retail plaza properties that Crombie is acquiring are as follows: a 143,000-square foot property located in Fort McMurray that boasts a 100 percent occupancy rate and is anchored by a Sobeys and a 98 percent occupied, 100,000 square foot property located in Lethbridge that has a Safeway grocery for an anchor are the larger properties. The other two acquisitions are a 29,000-square foot fully occupied retail property anchored by a Shoppers Drug Mart in Lethbridge, as well as an Edmonton-located retail spot offering 34,000 square feet of space, also anchored by a Shoppers Drug Mart and shadow-anchored by a Sobeys, which happens to be owned by the Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust.

In order to complete the moves, Crombie’s borrowing base and available limit on its revolving credit facility will be temporarily increased, reaching a level of $285 million until more permanent financing can be introduced in its place. Once that happens, the maximum level will return to its initial $200 million threshold. The company is also set to assume mortgages worth $10.8 million after closing the acquisition.

Crombie’s President and CEO, Donald E. Chow, FCA, stated that the company is “pleased with the acquisitions as they align with the continued growth of our portfolio of high quality grocery and drug anchored shopping centers across Canada.”

Crombie’s current portfolio totals 169 properties that feature approximately 14 million square feet of leasable space.

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