Morguard North American Residential REIT and HOOPP enter Chicago Residential JV

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By Ted Liu

Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX: MRG.UN) has entered into a joint venture (JV) with Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) of Coast at Lakeshore East, a 515-suite urban rental high-rise in Chicago’s desirable Loop district.

Coast JV is Morguard North American Residential REIT’s second JV acquisition with HOOPP in the U.S. The entities previously partnered on a mid-rise rental apartment community in Florida.

Morguard North American Residential REIT completed the acquisition of Coast in July 2017 for a purchase price of CDN $287.5 million or US $222.5 million.

Under the terms of the JV agreement, the REIT and HOOPP will own the property on a 51/49 basis, respectively. Morguard Management Company, a subsidiary of Morguard Corporation, will act as property and leasing manager as well as provide advisory services.

“Coast is a premium multi-suite residential property in a major U.S. urban market, making it a unique investment opportunity for the REIT and our partners at HOOPP,” said K. Rai Sahi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the REIT. “The Coast acquisition supports Morguard’s strategic initiative to acquire clusters of premium properties in key urban markets while allowing our Canadian institutional clients to diversify their real estate portfolio in the U.S.”

“We’re delighted to continue our partnership with Morguard on this new investment opportunity,” said Richard Varkey, Senior Portfolio Manager at HOOPP. “This joint venture allows HOOPP to continue to expand our U.S. portfolio with our first Chicago investment in a well-located, high-quality real estate asset that will provide stable income and tangible long-term growth potential.”

Coast is a 46-storey Class A property prominently located in the Lakeshore East master planned community, part of Chicago’s famed Loop district. Developed in 2013, Coast offers unencumbered views of the Chicago River, Navy Pier and Lake Michigan and best-in-class fundamentals including nine-foot ceilings, above-average unit sizes and floor-to-ceiling windows. The property features 18,000 square feet of ground floor retail and a focus on green living: the LEED Silver building offers a smoke-free environment, world-class fitness centre, heated outdoor pool and access to the Chicago Pedway.

“Coast’s condo-quality amenities, recent construction and prominent location in the hub of downtown Chicago make the property an excellent addition to our portfolio of high-quality North American multi-suite residential assets,” added Sahi. “New-build luxury apartments in the Loop district are in high demand from an upscale demographic, making Coast an excellent long-term investment opportunity.”

Coast is Morguard’s third strategic investment in and around Chicago’s vibrant Loop neighbourhood. Morguard Corporation (TSX: MRC), the REIT’s sponsor, has ownership in two other premium high-rise apartment properties in downtown Chicago: Alta at K Station and Marquee at Block 37.

photo credit: Coast, Morguard