A Halifax mall has been purchased by a Toronto-based real estate investment trust for $370 million.
On Monday, Primaris REIT announced it had acquired the Halifax Shopping Centre and the Annex in the city’s west end.
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Alex Avery, Primaris’ CEO, said in an interview the city’s record population growth over the last five years made the location an attractive investment.
“The shopping centre is the leading shopping centre in the market and, as such, it’s a great complement to our portfolio of shopping centres spread across the country,” Avery said.
Earlier this month, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said, according to Statistics Canada, the province’s population grew by more than 30,000 people this year. If current trends continue, it’s predicted the population in the Halifax area will reach half a million this year.
Primaris currently owns 36 shopping malls across the country in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.
Primaris REIT started out as a property portfolio for the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), one of Canada’s largest pension, according to the organization’s website. It became a publicly traded investment trust in 2022.
The Halifax Shopping Centre was owned by Cushman & Wakefield Asset Services Inc. Avery said Primaris’ plans for the property are “similar” to the plans Cushman has in the works, which include moving Winners and Simons locations into the mall, as well as other retailers to fill the vacancy left when Sears left the shopping centre in 2018.
“Halifax has a lot going for it,” Avery said. “The lifestyle is fantastic for people and we expect people to continue to move to Halifax and owning the shopping centre is a great way to participate in all of the great things that are ahead for Halifax.”
The deal is expected to close on Nov. 30.