RioCan’s new residential brand, RioCan Living, formally launched today with eight projects currently in development. The new brand intends to deliver “best-in-class” purpose-built rental units and condos along Canada’s most prominent transit corridors.
“Over the last 25 years, we have accumulated a unique portfolio of income-producing properties with significant redevelopment potential, strategically situated on or near existing or approved transit lines,” says Ed Sonshine, Chief Executive Officer of RioCan. “During that same time, a large shortage of new purpose-built rental buildings has emerged in Canada’s urban centres.”
Jonathan Gitlin, Senior Vice President, Investments & Residential, says RioCan is uniquely positioned to address the rental void by pursuing the highest and best use of its assets on behalf of unitholders. “It’s incumbent upon RioCan to figure out ways to make our properties better, more effective, and more valuable. At the same time, we are delivering best-in-class, professionally managed residential units at a significant scale to the cities and communities that need it most.”
RioCan has identified 43 projects within its portfolio as potential mixed-use residential opportunities that will soon translate into 20,000 residences in Canada’s six major markets. All but a few of the projects are currently slated to house rental apartments, with proposed developments ranging from affordable to ultra-luxury.
Of the eight RioCan Living projects currently in development, approximately 2,100 units will be rental and 700 will be condo. Six of those projects are in Toronto, one is in Calgary and one is in Ottawa, and all are well located along major public transit corridors, at prominent downtown intersections or at busy shopping centres.
RioCan Living’s pipeline of potential sites is robust and growing, with 25.1 million square feet of development opportunity—half of which has already been approved for zoning, Aside from the eight active projects, 13 additional mixed-use residential development projects are in early planning stages in the Greater Toronto Area alone.
“Building on or close to transit will allow us to deliver sustainable, livable communities that minimize the impact on the environment while offering future residents the opportunity to live, work and play within a reasonable distance,” says Sonshine. “We want RioCan Living buildings to stand out from the pack. We’re working with best-in-class designers and trades to develop communities that will stand the test of time. We intend to become one of the leading residential landlords in the country.”
Unique among mixed-use developers, RioCan Living will seek to leverage existing relationships with retailers to bring added vibrancy to future communities. “There’s a huge opportunity to take what exists within RioCan, namely numerous strong connections with very strong retailers, and merge that with our residential developments to deliver a true diversity of uses and tenant mix,” says Gitlin.
Gitlin adds that each new residential development will share a distinct set of characteristics that will define RioCan Living communities moving forward. These include: easy access to major commuter routes; world-class architecture and iconic locations; community-focused animation and event programming; standout amenities that cater to the needs of residents; and retail experiences curated by the retail experts.
RioCan Living is on schedule to begin attracting new residential tenants in the fall of 2018. More information on the inaugural slate of residential developments can be found at www.riocanliving.com.