TORONTO, Sept. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — It is with great sadness that the Board of Trustees of SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:SRU.UN) announces the death of our colleague and friend, Peter Forde, who had served as an executive of SmartCentres for many years, and most recently as President and CEO, until illness forced him to take a medical leave of absence earlier this year. “Peter was an integral part of our executive team for many years, and a wonderful friend. He will be greatly missed,” said Mitchell Goldhar, Executive Chairman of SmartCentres.
During Peter Forde’s medical leave Mitchell Goldhar assumed Peter’s responsibilities, and the Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Mitchell has agreed to now assume the role of CEO of SmartCentres, in addition to his responsibilities as Executive Chairman. Mitchell has been very involved in all aspects of SmartCentres’ properties and operations for over thirty years, including the development of SmartCentres’ transformative $13.5 billion mixed use intensification program that is well under way.
Michael Young, the Lead Independent Trustee stated “On behalf of all the Trustees, I want to express our profound sadness over the passing of our long time friend and business associate Peter Forde. The Board of Trustees are very pleased that Mitchell has agreed to take on the role of CEO, in addition to his current role as Executive Chairman. Mitchell’s vision, expertise and knowledge of SmartCentres’ business makes him uniquely qualified to lead SmartCentres, with the assistance of the other members of our talented leadership team, during this exciting phase of its growth.”
SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust is one of Canada’s largest fully integrated REITs, with a best-in-class portfolio featuring 168 strategically located properties in communities across the country. SmartCentres has approximately $10.0 billion in assets and owns 33.9 million square feet of income producing value-oriented retail space with over 97% occupancy, on 3,500 acres of owned land across Canada.
SmartCentres continues to focus on enhancing the lives of Canadians by planning and developing complete, connected, mixed-use communities on its existing retail properties. Project 512, a publicly announced $13.1 billion intensification program ($7.8 billion at SmartCentres’ share) represents the REIT’s current major development focus on which construction is expected to commence within the next five years. This intensification program consists of rental apartments, condos, seniors’ residences and hotels, to be developed under the SmartLiving banner, and retail, office, and storage facilities, to be developed under the SmartCentres banner.
SmartCentres’ intensification program is expected to produce an additional 55.2 million square feet (32.4 million square feet at SmartCentres’ share) of space, 27.3 million square feet (16.0 million square feet at SmartCentres’ share) of which has or will commence construction within the next five years. From shopping centres to city centres, SmartCentres is uniquely positioned to reshape the Canadian urban and urban-suburban landscape.
Included in this intensification program is the Trust’s share of SmartVMC which, when completed, is expected to include approximately 11.0 million square feet of mixed-use space in Vaughan, Ontario. Construction of the first five sold-out phases of Transit City Condominiums that represent 2,789 residential units continues to progress. Final closings of the first two phases of Transit City Condominiums began ahead of budget and ahead of schedule in August 2020 and all 1,100 units in the first and second phases have closed. Closings of all 631 presold units in the third phase began in May 2021 and are now fully completed. In addition, the 22 sold-out townhomes that complete this phase of the project, are expected to close in 2022. The fourth and fifth sold-out phases representing 1,026 units are currently under construction and are expected to close in 2023.
Certain statements in this Press Release are “forward-looking statements” that reflect management’s expectations regarding the Trust’s future growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects and opportunities. More specifically, certain statements including, but not limited to, statements related to SmartCentres’ expected or planned development plans and joint venture projects, including the described type, scope, costs and other financial metrics and the expected timing of construction and condominium closings and statements that contain words such as “could”, “should”, “can”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “believe”, “will”, “may” and similar expressions and statements relating to matters that are not historical facts, constitute “forward-looking statements”. These forward-looking statements are presented for the purpose of assisting the Trust’s Unitholders and financial analysts in understanding the Trust’s operating environment, and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Such forward-looking statements reflect management’s current beliefs and are based on information currently available to management.
However, such forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements, including risks associated with potential acquisitions not being completed or not being completed on the contemplated terms, public health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, real property ownership and development, debt and equity financing for development, interest and financing costs, construction and development risks, ability to obtain commercial and municipal consents for development. These risks and others are more fully discussed under the heading “Risks and Uncertainties” and elsewhere in the SmartCentres’ most recent Management’s Discussion and Analysis, as well as under the heading “Risk Factors” in SmartCentres’ most recent annual information form. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, SmartCentres cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. These forward-looking statements are made as at the date of this Press Release and SmartCentres assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances unless otherwise required by applicable securities legislation.
Material factors or assumptions that were applied in drawing a conclusion or making an estimate set out in the forward-looking information may include, but are not limited to: a stable retail environment; relatively low and stable interest costs; a continuing trend toward land use intensification, including residential development in urban markets and continued growth along transportation nodes; access to equity and debt capital markets to fund, at acceptable costs, future capital requirements and to enable our refinancing of debts as they mature; that requisite consents for development will be obtained in the ordinary course, construction and permitting costs consistent with the past year and recent inflation trends.
For more information, please contact:
(905) 326-6400 ext. 7674