On March 1st, 2017, developer Francis Lépine closed the sale of the largest newly-built rental apartment development in Canada in a generation. The development was the largest purpose-built multi-family housing development to be built in over forty years, and the deal netted more than a quarter billion dollars, making it the largest real estate transaction in new apartment construction in Canadian history.
"This is the story of a man with tremendous vision," says Derek Lobo, the CEO of SVN Rock Advisors Inc., who brokered the deal between developer Lépine and purchasers Killam Apartment REIT and KingSett Capital. "Lépine saw what was possible when all others could see were open fields. William's Court at Kanata Lakes is a ground-breaking project that promises to change the face of the purpose-built rental apartment industry across Canada."
William's Court at Kanata Lakes broke ground in 2010, with over 739 units of high-end rental apartments and two commercial units in the suburban neighbourhood of Kanata, in the region of Ottawa. Over the next seven years, five apartment buildings and a recreational complex were built on a 5-acre site.
"This acquisition has been a great opportunity for Killam," says Philip Fraser, President and CEO of Killam Apartments REIT. "It is a great product that has been delivered by a very good developer. By all accounts, it is one of the nicest developments of its size."
Joe Mazzocco, Co-Head Investments at KingSett Capital adds, "We are focused on very high-quality purpose-built product. To be able to acquire product from the Lépine Corporation, which has a fantastic reputation for building to the utmost quality, excited us very much."
The key to making the deal work, says Lobo, is having the broker share and communicate the vision of the seller. This was helped by SVN Rock Advisors working with Lépine at all stages of the development process.
"We didn't just sell these buildings for Mr. Lépine and developers like him," says Lobo. "In many cases, we pull the deals together from end-to-end. We help developers find the land, our researchers conduct feasibility studies, and we helped line up financing. We make suggestions about the design, and help line find property manager and asset manager to maintain the property after its built. Our consulting work before and during construction gave us intimate knowledge about each building and the marketplace it's in. That's how we were able to make this landmark deal."
For more information, please visit http://www.svnrock.ca
Architectural Pvhotography: FinelinePerspectives.com