TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 7, 2012) - Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (CREIT) (TSX:REF.UN) announced it has acquired an additional 25% interest in certain components of Dartmouth Crossing Shopping Centre located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, part of the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).
Dartmouth Crossing is the largest and most dominant unenclosed shopping centre in Atlantic Canada. Inclusive of space directly owned by retail anchors, the shopping centre is currently comprised of 1.3 million square feet of retail / commercial area.
Retailer-owned anchors include Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot and Empire Theatres, all of which are fully integrated into the shopping centre.
Prior to this transaction, CREIT owned a 50% interest in portions of Dartmouth Crossing comprised of fully developed income producing property and future development land. This acquisition increases CREIT's ownership interest in the fully developed income producing property from 50% to 75%. Approximately 600,000 square feet of leasable area (at 100%) is included in this transaction. This space is currently 99.1% leased with a weighted average remaining lease term of approximately seven years. CREIT continues to own a 50% interest in the future development land.
The purchase price of $41.0 million was partially settled by the assumption of $20.2 million of first mortgage debt, carrying an interest rate of 5.4% and a term to maturity of 1.4 years. The balance of the purchase price was funded through CREIT's bank facility.
Stephen Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of CREIT said "Dartmouth Crossing is one of Canada's best retail assets in the power and lifestyle centre category. Shopping centres of this quality are rarely available for acquisition so we are pleased that we have been able to increase our investment in this exceptional property through several transactions over the past five years."
Dartmouth Crossing is a good example of the acquisition pipeline that CREIT has created through strategic relationships with existing partners, including North American Development Group, CREIT's partner and the developer of Dartmouth Crossing.
CREIT has a significant presence in the HRM through the ownership of a high quality real estate portfolio comprised of office, industrial and retail properties. Approximately 14% of CREIT's net operating income is currently earned in the HRM. This acquisition is a natural addition to CREIT's existing portfolio.
CREIT is a real estate investment trust focused on accumulating a portfolio of high-quality real estate assets and delivering the benefits of real estate ownership to Unitholders. The primary benefit is a reliable and, over time, increasing cash distribution.
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