The CREIT History
Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (CREIT) was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) in 1993 making it the oldest REIT in Canada.
At the end of 1993 we owned 512,000 square feet in 8 retail and industrial properties with a book value of $34 million. By year-end 2013, we owned 24 million square feet (32.1 million square feet including our co-owners' interest) in 198 properties with a book value of $3.6 billion.
During the early years, while we continued to grow with strategic property acquisitions, we took significant strides in 1996 towards becoming a major REIT when we merged with MD Realty Fund. That year we began with $87 million in assets, but ended with $511 million.
In 1999, we took over direct managment of our assets by ending the role of our external asset manager. Then in 2001 we assumed control of our property management by terminating our third-party management agreement. This internalization of asset and property management made us strategically more flexible. At that time, we became one of a small group of Canadian REITs that was self-managed. The added control over our assets allowed us to better manage our costs and to seek other opportunities like co-investing transactions, for instance.
In more recent years, we have invested in various initiatives aimed at creating sources of new acquisitions. To that end, we have been extending loans in exchange for attractive returns, plus purchase rights, to property developers who are recognized for their high-quality retail and industrial developments. The program has become a major vehicle for our asset growth.
As we continue to grow, we remain committed to our long-standing Strategy that has served us well through a number of economic cycles and should continue to do so going forward.