2013 was a year of significant growth at Morguard. Through a combination of strategic acquisitions, asset and property management, investment, and development, our team successfully managed growth of more than $2 billion. Our owned and managed real estate portfolio is valued at $15.1 billion as of December, 31, 2013.
For Morguard, strategic acquisitions and geographic expansion were key drivers of growth in Canada and the U.S.
· One of the highest profile deals involved the Morguard North American Residential REIT’s (TSX: MRG.UN) $452 million purchase of 12 multi-unit residential properties in the U.S. totaling 3,752 apartment suites. With this acquisition, and the acquisition of another 12 multi-unit residential properties from Morguard Corporation (TSX: MRC), the REIT has more than doubled in size from its initial public offering in April 2012.
· Morguard’s largest asset class, Retail, was further enhanced with the purchase of $500 million in shopping centres located in Thunder Bay, ON and Sudbury, ON on behalf of a pension fund client and a shopping centre in Prince George, BC for Morguard REIT (TSX: MRT.UN).
· Morguard also closed two separate deals on behalf of its pension fund clients to purchase a Class A Office tower and a Class A Industrial portfolio in Edmonton, AB totaling more than $200 million.
· Morguard Corporation (TSX: MRC) entered a new asset class with the $70.5 million purchase of five hotels in the Greater Toronto Area.
Morguard’s development projects added to our portfolio strength. In 2013, we completed several development and redevelopment projects including a LEED Silver distribution centre near Guelph, ON and a LEED Silver P3 courthouse in Belleville, ON.
Work continues on multiple developments across Canada for completion and lease up in 2014 including:
· The Heathview, a twin 30-storey 596-unit LEED Gold Residential development in Toronto, ON.
· Performance Court, a 360,000 LEED Gold Class A Office Tower in Ottawa, ON.
· TransLink Logistics Centre, a LEED Silver, multi-tenant industrial complex in Regina, SK.
Morguard’s professional team of more than 1,450 real estate professionals achieved industry recognition for their work. In 2013, Morguard won an incredible 18 Awards including 11 major industry awards from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), including three gold awards - half of all the gold awards ICSC bestowed in Canada this year. Morguard was also recognized by Thomson Reuters with two prestigious Gold Awards as one of Canada’s Safest Employers in 2013, as well as, a Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Award for the Morguard-managed CIBC Canadian Real Estate Fund.
We also continued to make great strides with our sustainability program, completing our second Corporate Social Responsibility report, and achieving BOMA certification for 40 of our buildings and LEED ratings for six.
I want to thank all of Morguard's management team and employees for their intelligent and dedicated service. I also thank our shareholders, unitholders, clients, and partners in the real estate industry for their loyalty and their faith in Morguard's abilities. We're in a great business, and we're delighted to share in the experience with you.
K. (Rai) Sahi
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer