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How 4 Western Canada REITs Did Last Quarter

Canada’s REITs have begun delivering quarterly reports, offering windows into their end-of-2015 performances. Here’s how four Western Canada-focused firms fared in Q4.

1. Boardwalk REIT


Highlights: Adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) was $40.1M in Q4, up from $39.6M in the same period of 2014. CEO Sam Kolias says the trust continues to deliver stable revenues despite Alberta's economic uncertainty.

Portfolio: The Calgary-based trust owns and operates 200 communities, with 32,000 residential units (28M net RSF) in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.

Big deal: Completed Phase 1 of its Pines Edge development in Regina, a 79-unit, four-storey wood frame building (cost $13.4M). Working on second and third phases now while seeking other multifamily development opportunities in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

2. Artis REIT


Highlights: AFFO $186.4M, a 13.2% increase from Q4 2014. CEO Armin Martens says the record results demonstrate the resiliency of Artis’ diverse portfolio and the significance of a “timely decision” to expand to the US in 2010.

Portfolio: Winnipeg-based Artis has 249 properties across Canada and the US; it acquired 10 assets in 2015, increasing its portfolio to 26.2M SF of leasable area.

Big deals: Acquired Canadian Pacific Plaza, a 394k SF, 26-storey tower in Minneapolis, for US$68.6M. CPR occupies 23% of the building, with a long-term lease expiring in 2027. In November, Artis sold Willingdon Green, a 47k SF Vancouver office tower, for $16.7M.

3. City Office REIT


Highlights: The Vancouver-based trust had its “strongest quarter yet,” CEO James Farrar says, with AFFO of $4.5M and rental income of $15.1M.

Portfolio: The trust owns or has an interest in 3.3M SF of office properties in the southern and western US, including Denver’s Logan Tower (above). As of Q4, its portfolio had 3.3M net RSF.

Big deals: Commenced six new leases for 22k SF and a renewal for 6k SF in Q4; also signed new leases for 5k SF and early renewals for 8k SF, taking total leasing activity in the quarter to 41k SF.

4. Dream Office REIT


Highlights: A Toronto-based REIT with significant Western Canada holdings, Dream Office had AFFO of $70.9M in Q4, up 1.7% from the same period in 2014 ($69.7M).

Portfolio: The trust has 166 properties in urban centres across Canada (23M SF GLA) with 8.6M SF in Western Canada. Last month, Dream unveiled a plan to dispose of $1.2B in assets in a bid to offset Alberta market challenges.

Big deal: Completed or is in advanced negotiations for 423k SF of leasing at four key properties, including Calgary’s 444 7th Ave SW (above) and Airport Corporate Centre. Also completed a 10-year, 45k SF renewal and expansion of O2E Brands at Vancouver’s 887 Great Northern Way.