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Avenue Strengthens Position As Investment Leader

Avenue Living has had a strong and solid presence in the Edmonton rental market for many years. We further strengthened that presence with the recent portfolio acquisition of 874 Maclab Development Group apartments and townhome units in the Hermitage community of eastern Edmonton. This acquisition, Avenue Living’s largest to date, further solidifies Avenue’s strength as a leader in the multi-family real estate investment space, and as one of Canada’s leading Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

In what was a triumphant week for our organization, Maclab represents one of three large Edmonton acquisitions that helped push our assets under management past $2.8 billion, highlighting our ambitious and continued growth.

When it comes to geography, we are agnostic in where we invest. We focus on markets where the fundamentals hold up, and those fundamentals keep bringing us back to Edmonton. The market has the right price, customer, and location for us to successfully execute our investment strategy.

Maclab was the primary developers of the units in the attractive Hermitage residential area prior to the acquisition, a reason why Avenue Living focused on that area and its properties. Maclab built the units in the ‘80s and has kept the properties in impressive shape over the past few decades.

Nick Buffum, Associate, Investments for Avenue Living Asset Management, notes how well maintained the properties are, and what made the area and units so desirable. “It is a fantastic opportunity for us to acquire a portfolio of assets that has been owned and operated by a single group since they were built. The pride of ownership is evident when you walk through these properties and see how well they have been maintained. From an operational standpoint, we are able to take advantage of significant economies of scale with this acquisition and grow our existing Edmonton portfolio,” Nick said.

“The properties are well taken care of, the interiors are clean, and all they’re concentrated in a desirable area.”

Because the properties were well taken care of, we expect they’ll require minimal renovation.

The condition in which the units were kept was a big reason why our team focused on Maclab’s properties. It’s an opportunity to add 874 units to a burgeoning portfolio in a node that we have a proven ability to execute in. This was a strategic and well-researched investment in an area that offers many lifestyle choices.

This was an opportunity where we felt we could grow with the community and invest in a portfolio of buildings that have been kept in pristine condition. Its longevity was an attractive factor.

The community of Hermitage is located near the Yellowhead and Anthony Henday ring road, giving it strong access to other areas of the city.

The Hermitage neighbourhood is ideally located adjacent to Hermitage Park, on the North Saskatchewan River Valley, and is complete with ample green space and local amenities in the neighbourhood. It takes 15 minutes to get downtown Edmonton, 10 minutes to get to Sherwood Park, and the beautiful river valley is just a short bike ride away.

It’s important for our customers to have near city-wide access, offering the opportunity to live in a quiet neighbourhood that is well taken care of while still being close to amenities.

Of the 874 units in the Hermitage Portfolio, there are 548 apartments and 326 townhomes. The demographic within those units is vast, says Nick. “We have everybody from a single 20-year-old all the way to a family in a three-bedroom townhome.

“There is a place here for everybody,” he says, adding that units are also age-friendly and allow older residents to remain in a community they have called home for a long time.

The properties’ continued strong performance complements our presence in Edmonton as it brings scale into a major market in a concentrated, desirable area of the city.

The acquisition adds to our competitiveness and positions Avenue Living as an institutional player on many levels.

“This is the biggest acquisition that we’ve ever done,” Nick says. “It shows that we’re able to execute on an acquisition of that size and brings us to the forefront, not only in Edmonton, but Canada-wide. It demonstrates that we are able to execute from a capital position and operational standpoint, which is great for visibility.”


This commentary and the information contained herein are for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities or related financial instruments. This article may contain forward-looking statements. Readers should refer to information contained on our website at www.avenuelivingam.com for additional information regarding forward-looking statements and certain risks associated with them.

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