RioCan and Embassy BOSA announce ground breaking at their Fifth and Third East Village project

TORONTO, ONTARIO, 2016-Apr-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (“RioCan”) (TSX:REI.UN) is pleased to announce that RioCan and Embassy BOSA will break ground later today at their Fifth and Third East Village project (formerly CPA Lands). This 2.8 acre site is located in the East Village area of downtown Calgary, Alberta. The site is one of downtown Calgary’s few remaining privately owned full city blocks and is being developed as a mixed use project that will include approximately 188,000 square feet of retail space to be anchored by an 82,000 square foot Loblaws City Market. Other tenants at the site include Shoppers Drug Mart and Olympia Liquor store. RioCan will own 100% of the retail portion of the site and has entered into a firm sale with the developer, Embassy BOSA Inc., for the air rights above the commercial component of this development site. Embassy BOSA will be responsible for the residential portion of the development and will also fund their proportionate share of the infrastructure costs on a cost-to-complete basis, and in this regard has provided its first payment towards such costs in the first quarter of 2016. Construction at the site is expected to be completed in 2019.

RioCan is also pleased to provide an update on its development activities at a number of other sites. This update largely focuses on RioCan’s development activities that are in addition to our stated residential intensification program and our redevelopment work to backfill the vacated Target locations, for which RioCan will provide separate updates on throughout the year.

The Trust’s development program is concentrated in three of Canada’s six major markets: Toronto and Ottawa in Ontario and Calgary, Alberta. Management is taking a measured approach to these activities, which will be a key driver of future growth for RioCan, to ensure solid returns while managing the development risk exposure to the Trust. By staging the Trust’s development program to ladder out the completions, RioCan will maintain its sound balance sheet while enabling the future growth of the Trust’s cash flow with a regular stream of completed projects. The initial phase of development completions is expected to come into the portfolio in 2018. The pace and scale of completions for the currently committed development projects is then expected to accelerate into 2019 and 2020.

Ontario Development Projects – Greater Toronto Area (“GTA”)

Bathurst College Centre – 430 Bathurst Street

RioCan owns a 100% interest in this 1.3 acre site, which is located just west of the downtown core in Toronto near Bathurst and College Street. The property will be developed into 146,000 square foot four storey urban mixed-use, retail/office building. The site, which is approximately 67% preleased with leases to a national grocery anchor, a financial institution, and a restaurant. The top two floors will be office uses, and RioCan is currently in discussions with a single user to lease one of the floors. Construction has commenced and it is expected to be completed in 2018.

491 College Street

RioCan and Allied purchased this site, located in downtown Toronto’s “Little Italy” on a 50/50 joint venture basis for the purposes of relocating the existing LCBO at 549 College Street (at Manning Street) in order to allow for that site’s redevelopment. 491 College Street is considered a heritage building and, as such, the facade will remain and will be meticulously restored. The LCBO will occupy the first floor and the basement totalling 7,000 square feet of this 30,000 square foot development, with construction beginning in the Summer of 2016 and expected to be completed in 2017.

College Street and Manning Avenue

RioCan and Allied have formed a 50/50 co-ownership to create a mixed use development including office, retail and residential space at the site. Upon completion, the development will total approximately 122,000 square feet, including 59,000 square feet at the site that is currently income producing, 57,000 square feet of residential density and 6,000 square feet of retail space, featuring 185 feet of frontage on College Street. Site plan approval is expected to be received in the second quarter of 2016 and construction is expected to commence in mid 2017 with completion scheduled for 2020.

King-Portland Centre

RioCan and Allied have formed a 50/50 co-ownership to create a mixed use development including office, retail and residential space at the site. The development site for King-Portland Centre includes 61,600 square feet of land with frontage on King Street West, Portland Street andAdelaide Street West and is comprised of a restored heritage structure, 602-606 King West (the “Rental Property”), and an adjacent property extending from King West through to Adelaide West (the “Development Property”). The Rental Property is fully leased and is expected to remain so through the development process.

RioCan and Allied have begun construction of a new structure on the Development Property and will integrate it with the Rental Property. The new structure will be comprised of 255,565 square feet of office GLA and 13,035 square feet of retail GLA fronting on King West and approximately 116 rental residential units fronting on Adelaide West. Shopify Inc. has signed a commitment to lease 112,000 square feet of GLA (approximately 44% of the total office GLA) as the anchor tenant of what will be known as King-Portland Centre. Construction commenced earlier this month, with site mobilization and the demolition of small structures on the Development Property and is expected to be completed in 2018.

RioCan Colossus Centre

A lease buyout was completed with Rona in the third quarter of 2013 allowing the Trust to redevelop this portion of the site. Construction of approximately 114,000 square foot redevelopment is 100% leased and is nearly complete, with the initial tenants expected to commence operations in third quarter of 2016. Leases have been completed with a 28,000 square foot Bed Bath & Beyond, a 22,000 square foot Buy Buy Baby (a Bed Bath & Beyond banner), a 20,000 square foot Staples, a 10,000 square foot Party City, a 5,500 square foot Chop Steakhouse, and a 22,000 square foot sporting goods retailer. RioCan owns a 100% interest in the centre.

RioCan Yonge Sheppard Centre

RioCan and its 50% partner KingSett have received zoning approval from the City of Toronto, for its application for the redevelopment and expansion of RioCan Yonge Sheppard Centre. The development plan, which will be completed in phases, includes a complete renovation and expansion of the retail portion of the property and interior of the mall. Construction of the retail renovation commenced in March 2016 and is expected to be completed by May 2018. Once complete, approximately 104,000 square feet of new retail space will have been added. The plans also contemplate the addition of a new 39 storey residential tower containing approximately 317,000 square feet of residential space comprising approximately 400 units. Construction is expected to commence in mid-2017 and is expected to be completed in mid-2019. Major tenants in the retail portion of the property will include Longo’s, LA Fitness, Winners, Shoppers Drug Mart, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (“CIBC”), Bank of Montreal, and Toronto Dominion Bank (“TD Bank”).

Windfield Farms

RioCan and Tribute Communities (“Tribute”) have formed a joint venture with the purpose of developing a residential project on an approximately 30 acre portion (“Residential Lands”) of RioCan’s Windfield Farms development property. Tribute will provide development, construction, sales and marketing services to the venture for the residential component of the site. RioCan continues to explore various retail and mixed-use development options for the remaining 82 acres of the approximately 112 acres of developable land at site located in the eastern GTA adjacent to highway 407 in Oshawa, Ontario. It is expected that Tribute will commence presales for the site in the Summer of 2016.

Stouffville Lands

RioCan entered into an agreement with Minto Group Inc. and Trinity Development Corporation at this 24 acre site in suburban Toronto to redevelop the site for residential purposes. This project comprises a townhouse development project consisting of 272 units that have all been pre-sold with the final sales set to close in the Fall of 2016.

Ontario Development Projects – Ottawa

Shoppers City East

This 19.4 acre site, of which RioCan owns a 63% interest, is currently being redeveloped into a 201,000 square foot new format retail centre that is either leased or in advanced discussion for 100% of the space. A conditional lease agreement has been entered into with Costco to purchase approximately 14.7 acres of the site where they are expected to commence construction of a 161,000 square foot store in 2016 that will commence operations during 2017.

A 15,000 square foot lease has been completed with Shoppers Drug Mart and construction began on this building in the third quarter of 2015. Shoppers Drug Mart is expected to commence operations in May 2016, and it is expected that the remaining tenants will commence operations in early 2017.

Herongate Mall

This 16 acre site, of which RioCan owns a 75% interest consisted of a 196,000 square foot enclosed mall when the property was acquired in 2011. The majority of the original building was demolished in two stages in 2012 and 2013 and the property is currently being redeveloped into a 148,000 square foot grocery anchored shopping centre. The site is anchored by a 42,000 square foot Food Basics. Other tenants that have opened at the redeveloped site include a 12,000 square foot Pharma Plus, a 12,000 square foot PetSmart and a 10,000 square footDollarama. A lease has been completed for a 25,000 square foot Goodlife Fitness. Construction will begin on the Goodlife Fitness space and on an additional 19,000 square feet of conventional retail space in the second quarter of 2016.

Other Alberta Development Projects – Calgary

In addition to the development in Calgary’s East Village project, RioCan has two new format retail centres under development as part of RioCan’s Greenfield development pipeline:

East Hills

This 148 acre site, of which RioCan owns 40% and acts as the development manager is currently being developed into an 886,000 square foot regional new format retail centre. The site is anchored by a 130,000 square foot Walmart that opened in March 2014. An additional 67,000 square feet of retail space was constructed in 2015. The majority of the tenants in this phase took possession in the second half 2015 and opened in early 2016. Tenants in this phase include, CIBC, Sleep Country, Bulk Barn, Rogers, and Starbucks.

In the first quarter of 2016, Costco purchased approximately 14.8 acres of the site and have begun construction of a 160,000 square foot store, which is expected to commence operations by the end of the year.

Construction has begun on an additional phase at the site that will include 134,000 square feet of retail space. This phase is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016. Tenants in this phase include Marshalls, Michaels, PetSmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sport Chek, Mark’s Work Wearhouse and Dollarama.

There remains approximately 490,000 square feet of additional potential density that will be built out in additional phases as preleasing on the space is completed.

Sage Hill Crossing

RioCan owns this 32-acre site on a 50/50 joint venture basis with KingSett Capital (“KingSett”), which is currently being developed into a 394,000 square foot new format retail centre and is nearing completion. The site, which is currently 84% leased, is anchored by a 153,000 square foot Walmart that opened in January 2015 and a 45,000 square foot Loblaws City Market that opened in January 2016. The balance of the centre is under construction, including a 36,000 square foot London Drugs that is expected to take possession by the end of 2016. Other tenants at the site include, Bank of Nova Scotia, ATB Financial, Dollarama, Tim Horton’s, and Bulk Barn.

Forward-Looking Advisory

This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. This information includes, but is not limited to, statements made with respect to RioCan’s development program and other statements concerning RioCan’s objectives, its strategies to achieve those objectives, as well as statements with respect to management’s beliefs, plans, estimates, and intentions, and similar statements concerning anticipated future events, results, circumstances, performance or expectations that are not historical facts. Forward-looking information generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “outlook”, “objective”, “may”, “will”, “would”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “should”, “plan”, “continue”, or similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or events. Such forward-looking information reflects management’s current beliefs and is based on information currently available to management. All forward-looking information in this News Release is qualified by these cautionary statements.

Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future events or performance and, by its nature, is based on RioCan’s current estimates and assumptions, which are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described under “Risks and Uncertainties” in RioCan’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2015 (“MD&A”) and the Trust’s most recent Annual Information Form, which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the forward-looking information contained in this News Release. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those related to: liquidity and general market conditions; tenant concentrations and related risk of bankruptcy or restructuring (and the terms of any bankruptcy or restructuring proceeding), defaults, including the failure to fulfill contractual obligations by the tenant or a related party thereof; retailer competition; access to debt and equity capital; interest rate and financing risk; joint ventures and partnerships; the relative illiquidity of real property; development risk associated with construction commitments, project costs and related approvals; environmental matters and property management. Although the forward looking information contained in this News Release is based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Certain statements included in this News Release may be considered “financial outlook” for purposes of applicable securities laws, and such financial outlook may not be appropriate for purposes other than this News Release.

The Income Tax Act (Canada) contains provisions which potentially impose tax on publicly traded trusts (the SIFT Provisions). However, the SIFT Provisions do not impose tax on a publicly traded trust which qualifies as a REIT. RioCan currently qualifies as a real estate investment trust for Canadian tax purposes and intends to qualify for future years. Should this not occur, certain statements contained in this News Release may need to be modified.

Except as required by applicable law, RioCan undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About RioCan

RioCan is Canada’s largest real estate investment trust with a total enterprise value of approximately $15 billion as at December 31, 2015. RioCan owns and manages Canada’s largest portfolio of shopping centres with ownership interests in a portfolio of 305 Canadian retail and mixed use properties, including 16 properties under development, containing an aggregate net leasable area (“NLA”) of 46 million square feet.

Contact Information:
RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust
Cynthia J. Devine
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and
Corporate Secretary
(647) 253-4973

Source: RIO CAN