Partners' Big Deal Overshadowed
Even retail observers might be excused for overlooking Partners REIT's acquisition of five Montreal retail properties totaling 287k SF last Thursday: The news was snowed under by Primaris-H&R coverage; Partners bought open-air malls, unlike Primaris's enclosed portfolio; it paid $79M, not $4.6B; it's also platform building, rather than platform gobbling like H&R. But our eyes on Quebec--CBRE's Alexandre Sieber--says both deals emphasize that demand for retail properties with great tenants far outstrips supply. "REITs and pension funds are very active, especially with the interest rates low." Alexandre (after lamenting the Habs' sloppiness in a season-opening loss to the Leafs) notes Partners' Quebec holdings increased by 40%, and these malls' supermarkets and drugstores will generate steady traffic even in market downturns. (The Tim Hortons outlets don't hurt, either).