‘The real estate market is so hot right now’: RioCan CEO plots 2017 Toronto projects as home demand spikes

January 23, 2017 7:38 pm

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The head of Canada’s largest real estate investment trust is adding more projects to his redevelopment pipeline amid unprecedented heat in Toronto’s housing market.

Ed Sonshine, the 70-year-old chief executive officer of RioCan REIT, is in the planning stages for several large sites this year that may push the company beyond an original goal of building 10,000 residential units in the next decade. The Toronto-based company has a portfolio of about 300 malls across the country, and is seeking to redevelop stores and add housing to at least 50 of them.

“The real estate market is so hot right now, there’s no way it’s going to stay like this forever,” Sonshine said at Bloomberg’s Toronto office Thursday. “But you can’t do too many projects or you just won’t have the cash, and you don’t want your leverage to go up. We just got our credit rating upgraded we don’t want it to go right down again.”

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