The Cherryhill Village is located in the northwest area of Canada’s 10th-largest city and contains complementary assets, said John Stang, senior vice-president of Minto Apartments Ltd.
The company purchased 13 apartment buildings containing 2,326 rental units, as well as a 31,000-square-foot medical building and the 158,000-square-foot Cherryhill Village Mall from the London-based Esam Group.
The sale is scheduled to close on March 1. Mr. Stang declined to disclose the purchase price or the capitalization rate of the assets, which were openly marketed.
He says Minto previously had a presence in London years ago and was interested in reentering the southwestern Ontario market. However, it was the size and location of the Esam Group’s assets that perked Minto’s interest, says Mr. Stang.
“It is a real community,” he says.
“(The mall) is focal point for the residential base in the apartments around it,” he says, adding the food court is regularly packed with residents living nearby.
Mr. Stang says Minto is interested in making future acquisitions in metropolitan markets.
“If there are opportunities, we will certainly be looking at them.”
Last year, Minto bought a 201-unit Gloucester apartment building at 2750 Carousel Cres. Most of the company’s ongoing income-generating assets are concentrated in Ottawa and Toronto, but Minto Group CEO Roger Greenberg highlighted the company’s efforts to geographically diversify in discussing the London purchase.
“The mix of well maintained residential and commercial properties makes this portfolio an excellent addition to our existing assets and strategically supports our initiative to grow outside of the Toronto and Ottawa markets,” he said in a statement.
The company, through its U.S. subsidiary Minto Communities, has also been growing its new home business south of the border. It’s operated in Florida for more than three decades and recently acquired interests in several property tracks around the Tampa area.
Back in London, the Cherryhill Village Mall is anchored by Metro, Shoppers Drug Mart, LCBO and the London Public Library. Average annual sales were $455 a square foot in 2009, according to information published by the mall.
Rents for the residential range from $530 to $1,300 a unit, according to the rental website.
Beyond its recently divested assets, the Esam Group owns a 58,000-square-foot family entertainment centre in London named the Fleetway Fun Centre, according to the company’s website.
Minto has built more than 70,000 homes since its inception in 1955 and currently manages more than 15,000 residential rental units in Ottawa and Toronto. Its commercial portfolio of more than 2.7 million square feet of office, retail and industrial space as well as the 418-unit Minto Place Suite Hotel in downtown Ottawa.