The group announced equity conversion right from Rice Group to acquire a 75% ownership interest in 154 developable acres of industrial land in East Gwillimbury in the Greater Toronto Area (the “Property”), and that Loblaw intends to build a 1.2 million square foot, automated, multi-temperature industrial facility on part of the Property to add capacity and create new capabilities for the retailer (the “Distribution Facility”). The Property is strategically located at the corner of Highway 404 and Green Lane East, with excellent access to major highways.
The development plan for the Property is for the Trust to build a multi-phase industrial park with the potential for approximately 1.8 million square feet of new generation logistics space (the “Development”). For the first phase of the Development, the Trust and Loblaw entered into an approximately 100-acre land lease. Choice Properties and Rice Group’s total initial cost of the project is approximately $170 million, including land and site preparation. Preparation of the site for the first and following phases is anticipated to take place over a period of 15 months. The cost of the Distribution Facility is already contemplated in Loblaw’s capital planning and projections and Loblaw expects to bring the Distribution Facility into its operations in the first quarter of 2024.
“This development is a unique opportunity for Choice Properties to scale its existing industrial portfolio, and further demonstrates the benefits of our strong and strategic relationship with Loblaw,” said Rael Diamond, President and Chief Executive Officer of Choice Properties. “The development is a significant opportunity in a key market to develop industrial land alongside the Rice Group, who is a long-standing development partner of ours.”
“This new facility reflects our continued drive to advance our supply chain to better serve our customers and meet their evolving needs,” said Robert Sawyer, Chief Operating Officer, Loblaw. “This is also a strong demonstration of the benefits of our strategic relationship with Choice Properties.”