RioCan recently made a big announcement – their new division, RioCan Living, will focus on developing residential communities in six major markets.
The commercial developer is known for its impressive and vast portfolio of large complexes like the redeveloped Yonge Eglinton Centre in Toronto. The fact that they’re ready to tackle some residential projects is pretty exciting.
What interests us most is their approach; RioCan Living will be turning existing retail and commercial sites into mixed-use developments. From an outside perspective, the transition seems almost seamless as there are already 13 developments in the works across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Eight of the GTA projects are in the early stages of development while five others are awaiting zoning approvals. Each of these are on major transit lines! RioCan Living is targeting major intersections like Yonge and Eglinton, Front and Spadina, and sites along College Street.
“It’s incumbent upon RioCan to figure out ways to make our properties better, more effective, and more valuable,” says Jonathan Gitlin, Senior Vice President, Investments & Residential, in a press release. “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.”
A total of 43 properties in RioCan’s portfolio have been selected as mixed-use opportunities, equalling 25 million square feet and more than 20,000 residential units, ranging from affordable to luxury.
“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.”
The majority of RioCan Living’s residential units will be rental. There are currently 2,800 units in the pipeline, 2,100 of which are rental and 700 condo units. These units are spread across eight projects; six in Toronto, one in Calgary, and one in Ottawa.
“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.”
RioCan’s retail and commercial centres improve and add flair to neighbourhoods across the GTA, increasing value and convenience, so we’re extremely eager to see what new condos they have in the works!