RioCan to Transform Calgary’s Glenmore Landing Retail Centre into Pedestrian-Friendly Mixed-Use Community Through Adjacent Land Acquisition [Interview/Renderings]

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The acquisition of adjacent land to its Glenmore Landing shopping centre will provide an opportunity for RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust to pursue another one of its residential densification projects in Calgary.

Andrew Duncan

“The acquisition of a parcel of land adjacent to our existing Glenmore Landing property will allow for densification to transform it into a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use property with residential and retail options,” said Andrew Duncan, Chief Investment Officer, RioCan.

“We are currently in the land use amendment process to determine the appropriate level of density for the site, supported from a civil, transportation and planning perspective. Once this is determined, the next step is to apply for Development Permit applications, which will be driven by market demand and again, completed in a phased approach.”

Glenmore Landing (Image: RioCan)
Glenmore Landing (Image: RioCan)

Glenmore Landing is comprised of 10.4 acres of land with approximately 147,000 square feet of commercial, retail and office space. The necessity-anchored site boasts a well-balanced, tenant mix. Safeway serves as the anchor tenant, while other tenants include popular brands like Running Room, TD Canada Trust, Good Earth Café, and Starbucks, said the company.

It is one of the original properties in the RioCan portfolio and has consistently been well-tenanted, strong performer. RioCan acquired the property in February 1987.

“The intensification of the Glenmore Landing site is a long-term vision, and the start date is still to be determined. We are in the very early planning stages, and as such, all aspects of the project will be subject to ongoing assessments of various factors, including the evolving needs of the Glenmore community, our tenants, and market conditions. To fully develop the purchased parcels from the City of Calgary, we estimate approximately 15-20 years from start to finish (three distinct phases, and approximately five years per phase),” said Duncan.

“At present there are no plans to redevelop the existing retail or parking, either now or in the foreseeable future. RioCan is invested in sustaining Glenmore Landing’s commercial operations and will work with business owners directly through the site intensification process. The addition of residential units on the purchased parcels is anticipated to bolster the economic viability of both existing and any future retail options at Glenmore Landing.

“RioCan understands that Glenmore Landing is an integral part of the community and is committed to ensuring that tenants and residents in the surrounding communities have opportunities to learn more about the application and provide feedback.”

Glenmore Landing (Image: RioCan)

Duncan said RioCan’s goal is to plan for the future of Glenmore Landing, strengthen its retail capacity, and transform it into a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use community. 

“As an owner, manager, and developer of high-quality retail and increasingly mixed-use properties in Canada’s major markets, we continually invest in our great locations to turn properties like Glenmore Landing into vibrant community hubs where people want to shop, live and work,” he said. “Glenmore Landing is a well-established shopping centre, and one of the original properties in the RioCan portfolio. It has deep roots in the surrounding community and has proven itself as a destination node in southwest Calgary. The strong tenant mix, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, personal services, restaurants, and other traditional retail, provides visitors with extensive shopping opportunities.

“The addition of the Southwest Bus Rapid Transit stop on 14th Street SW provides public transit access, connecting the site to downtown Calgary. By densifying the land adjacent to the existing shopping centre, we have an opportunity to provide community members with new housing options with great access to public transit, ensuring Glenmore Landing continues contributing to the growth and success of the area.”

RioCan introduced its residential brand, RioCan Living, in 2018 to deliver best-in-class, purpose-built rental units and condos along Canada’s most prominent transit corridors. They range from rental apartments to ultra-luxury condos.

As at August 1, 11 of the 12 RioCan LivingT buildings in operation are stabilized and are 99.0 per cent leased. Total Net Operating Income generated from its residential rental operations for the Second Quarter was $5.1 million, an increase of $1.7 million or 50.8 per cent over the same period last year. An increase of approximately nine per cent in average monthly rent per occupied square foot on a same property basis contributed to the year-over-year improvement, the company reported in its recent financial results.

As of June 30, 2,575 condominium and townhouse units are under construction and are expected to generate combined sales revenue of over $860.0 million between 2023 and 2026 that can be redeployed to fund its development pipeline. Of RioCan’s six active condominium construction projects, 86 per cent of the total units have been pre-sold, representing 96 per cent of pro-forma total revenues, said the company.

Glenmore Landing (Image: RioCan)

RioCan has a development pipeline of 42 million square feet which includes two million square feet underway, two million square feet shovel ready and 10 million square feet that is zoned.

RioCan has 12 towers across its portfolio ranging in size from smaller ones like a 60-unit tower in downtown Toronto to larger ones like the 590-unit tower at The Well. With the opening of The Well, RioCan will have about 3,000 residential units in operation.

John Ballantyne

“We’ve created a division of RioCan called RioCan Living which designs, identifies the sites where we want to put these towers, builds the proper tower for the site and area they’re located in,” said John Ballantyne, Chief Operating Officer of RioCan REIT, in a recent interview with Retail Insider. “So amenities will change, suite sizes will change, esthetics of the building will change depending on where they are.

“We’ll build them and we’ll operate these residential towers in conjunction with our retail sites that surround them.

“It’s a great opportunity for RioCan to intensify sites, help solve the housing crisis that’s going on in this country and at the same time provide residents with the services that already exist in RioCan shopping centres around them.

“The beauty of our model is that we’re not sitting on land that’s not productive. All of these sites are commercial retail sites. They all have active revenue coming through them.”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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