Dutch institutional investment manager Bouwinvest Real Estate Investors has entered the Canadian market through a joint venture with Woodbourne Capital to invest CAD 125 million (appr. €85 million) in well-located mid- or high-rise multifamily developments in the residential rental sector.
The expansion into Canada is in line with the diversification strategy of Bouwinvest’s North America Mandate.
The ‘Build-to-Green-Core Living’ strategy is being executed through Bouwinvest’s North America Mandate for its parent investor bpfBOUW, the Dutch construction workers pension fund, which is the fourth largest institutional investor from the Netherlands with assets under management totalling around €65 billion.
bpfBOUW also has the highest portfolio asset allocation to real estate in the Dutch institutional market at around 20% of total AUM.
Gijs Plantinga, Director North American Investments at Bouwinvest, said: “We’ve long eyed the Canadian market and see its residential-for-rent sector as particularly attractive because of the country’s growing demographics and economic outlook and the favourable supply/demand characteristics of its residential markets. Now that local legislative hurdles have been removed, we are ready to increase our exposure to Canada. Bouwinvest has a long history in rental residential accommodation in our own home market and we continue to play a key role in the further development of an institutional multifamily rental market through our Dutch Residential Fund. I’m also very pleased with the high sustainability standards of this investment, which play an increasingly important role in our investment decisions.”
The joint venture partners aim to make all assets net carbon zero-ready operationally LEED Gold certifications and to achieve a four or five-star rating under the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and to align with the Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor (CRREM) reporting standards.
Bouwinvest’s investment in Woodbourne’s Build-to-Green-Core Living strategy will bring its total exposure to Canada to just over €100 million, further diversifying its North America Mandate.
Around 50% of the joint-venture’s initial equity commitment is being invested in the Yonge & Roselawn mixed-use development at 2400 – 2444 Yonge Street in mid-town Toronto, which includes two residential towers adjoined by a 6-storey podium including street-level and second-floor retail and a total of 548 residential units.
The Yonge & Roselawn development will target highly-educated young professionals and downsizers, groups which have limited purpose built rental accommodation options in Canada’s most populous city.
“We are pleased to be teaming up with such a well-known, top-tier residential specialist as Woodbourne which has built an outstanding reputation in acquiring, developing and operating high-quality, sustainable multifamily properties in Canada’s most prominent markets where this product is still lacking. Woodbourne has an excellent, long-term track record: their team combines both an entrepreneurial and institutional mindset, and they have been very flexible in the process of finding a tailor-made solution that fits our specific investment needs and restrictions. This demonstrates their eagerness to build a long-term relationship, in line with our own ambition,” Bert van den Hoek, Senior Portfolio Manager North American Investments at Bouwinvest said.
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