RioCan Takes on $68M Ontario Development

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust today announced that it has commenced a greenfield development, building on previously undeveloped land, in Vaughan, Ontario. The development is a joint venture with Trinity Development Group Inc. and Strathallen Capital Corp. Vaughan is located at the southwest corner of Highway 27 and Langstaff Road at Highway 427 Extension in the greater Toronto area. Upon completion, this ‘new format retail’ center will total approximately 504,000 square feet of leasable area. Phase one of the project features approximately 262,000 square feet. A Wal-Mart Supercentre, holding a land lease, will occupy approximately 213,000 square feet and the remainder of the phase one retail space has been pre-leased to a number of national tenants. Construction of the Wal-Mart Supercentre is underway with an anticipated opening of January 2009. The city of Vaughan is situated north of Toronto and is at the geographical hub of the Greater Toronto Area. As Canada’s most densely populated area, the majority of the country’s corporate headquarters, as well as industrial and manufacturing concerns reside in the region. According to the city, two-thirds of the Canadian market (20 million people) are within one day’s drive of Vaughan. The city also offers developers low tax rates and substantial infrastructure investment as part of its strategic plan. Also in the area, CPN has recently reported that Toronto has been selected as a site for a Shangri-La hotel by the Hong Kong based hotelier to service its Asian customers. In addition, CPN reported that Waterfront Toronto, an entity set up by the Canadian federal government and the governments of Ontario and Toronto, has signed West Don Lands, to develop a mixed-use project that is part of a decades-long redevelopment of 2,000 industrial or formerly industrial acres along Lake Ontario near Downtown Toronto.