SmartCentres REIT says that it will be offering rent-free use of a total of up to 1-million square feet of space in 200 of its shopping centre properties across Canada. It’s part of the landlord’s efforts to help out amid the COVID-19 pandemic that is spreading rapidly in this country as well as globally.
As well, land owned by SmartCentres as well as parking lots and signage will be available to all Canadian governments and health care authorities. The space is being made effective immediately. SmartCentres, which is one of the largest real estate companies in Canada, has properties that are strategically located at major intersections in every province across the country.
“We have been in contact with Leadership in all Provinces,” said Mitchell Goldhar, Executive Chairman of SmartCentres. “We are not just a Canadian company, we are Canadians. The impulse to help each other is embedded in the DNA of our culture. We will use every means available to us to help each and every one of our fellow Canadians.”
Easily accessible to a large percentage Canadians, the land and buildings offered by SmartCentres can be used for drive-through and/or walk-in assessment centres, clinics, social assistance, overflow hospital services, information centres, and/or other facilities that may assist the country’s medical system, and other important industries needed at this time. Lands separately owned in a partnership between Walmart Canada and SmartCentres will be made available as well. SmartCentres has $9.9 billion in assets and owns over 34 million square feet of income-producing value-oriented retail space. Prior to COVID-19, the company’s proper saw a remarkable 98% occupancy on its 3,500 acres of owned land across Canada, the greatest concentration of which is in the Greater Toronto Area.
Based in Vaughan, Ontario, SmartCentres says that it focuses on enhancing the lives of Canadians through the planning and developing of complete, connected, mixed-use communities on its existing retail properties. The current COVID-19 pandemic has proved SmartCentres’ loyalty and dedication to the Canadian public as all efforts are being made to ease some of the strain on the country’s resources. SmartCentres is one of Canada’s largest fully integrated REITs, with a best-in-class portfolio of strategically located properties in communities across the country.
The company was founded on the belief that Canadians deserve convenient access to fair and affordable retail. “The guiding principles of our open-air, value-oriented shopping centres have never been more relevant than they are right now,” said Mr. Goldhar. “We are supporting Canadians through various means, including this initiative and support of our retailers who provide groceries, pharmacy, medical, general merchandise and other essentials to customers in the communities we live in and serve across Canada.”