Ontario Construction News staff writer
SmartCentres REIT and Greenwin Inc. have announced plans to develop a 7.8-acre lakefront property in Barrie.
The 50-50 joint venture will build a multi-phase rental apartment community comprised of over 2,000 residential units when it reaches completion in a city experiencing a rental housing shortage.
“We are very excited about partnering with Greenwin on this project in the thriving and growing city of Barrie,” said Mitchell Goldhar, executive chairman of SmartCentres.
The partnership is to develop the lands between Bradford Street and Lakeshore Drive that were formerly slated for Harmony Village – a controversial project owned by Fortress Real Developments, that did not proceed.
Barrie’s Ward 10 Councillor Sergio Morales says the SmartCentres project is a game-changer for the city.
“There are no details on the number of buildings yet, but the announcement speaks to 2,000 apartment units, which will surely materialize in the form of multiple buildings,” he said. “We should all be excited about this announcement: there’s a real buzz going on with projects in the downtown core.”
Morales says the development of this prime-location spot has the potential to help Barrie meet its density targets, add much-needed apartment rental units to the market with the goal of controlling the rising rental prices, tie in the north end of our waterfront to the south, and also be a catalyst that ushers in the development of Bradford street.
“Like any application, the plan must go through the public process, and when the investors come to the city with their vision, it will be a great opportunity for the public and Council to have a say and influence the proposal,” he said.
The chosen location will give residents direct access to the waterfront and close proximity to the Allandale GO station.
“We are confident that this residential development will be complementary to the City’s vision for its waterfront and provide additional rental housing in Barrie,” said Goldhar.
Also, the project furthers a strategy to focus on revenue growth in sectors such as residential, seniors, office and self-storage.
“The development will add significantly to our development pipeline of over 5,000 new purpose-built rental units,” said Kevin Green, president of Greenwin.
SmartCentres is one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts with total assets of approximately $9.7 billion. It owns and manages 34 million sq. ft. in value-oriented, principally Walmart-anchored retail centres, and is continuing to expand its portfolio to include residential (single-family, condominium, rental) retirement homes, office, and self-storage.
Greenwin currently manages more than $3.3 billion in real estate assets, consisting of 16,000 residential units and 1 million sq. ft. feet of commercial space. For more information, visit www.greenwin.ca.