InterRent buys Bell Street apartments for $38.63M

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An Ottawa-based real estate investment trust has acquired another property in the nation’s capital, adding to a recent flurry of acquisitions across the country.

InterRent REIT announced Thursday it has purchased a 444-unit building at 201 Bell St., near the intersection of Bronson and Gladstone avenues, for $38,625,000.

That’s more than double the $17.5 million that the property traded for in 2010.

The property has been undergoing a major renovation project under its former owners that included the installation of new boilers, elevators, electrical supply, a new roof system, five newly constructed penthouses as well as a renovation of the building’s suites.

InterRent says it will continue making upgrades over the next 12 to 18 months.

The $38.6 million purchase price represents a capitalization rate - a commonly used real estate metric for gauging return - of 5.5 per cent.

The new addition comes on the heels of a series of purchases in Quebec and Ontario so far in 2013. The company has also purchased properties in Burlington, St. Catherines and Ottawa.

“This is our most ambitious repositioning to date, however our proven team with their many years of experience managing these types of projects are looking forward to transforming this building and the area as a whole," said Mike McGahan, InterRent CEO, in a statement.

The area where the building is located is an “up and coming residential neighbourhood” that has easy access to transit and is close to downtown office buildings, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, the company said in the press release.

As part of the acquisition, InterRent also obtained an option to acquire a nearby vacant lot that can be used for future development, the press release said.