CIB commits $120 Million to Avenue Living – the first REIT addressing multi-family residential retrofits at scale
June 21, 2022 By Canada Infrastructure Bank
The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and Avenue Living Asset Management (Avenue Living) have signed a partnership agreement. Together, the CIB and Avenue Living will commit $150 million towards sustainable retrofit projects in low-density residential buildings across Western Canada.
Under the agreement, the CIB’s investment will represent 80 per cent of the overall capital value of the work. The timing of this investment coincides with Avenue Living’s corporate commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while collectively addressing the Prairie’s aging housing supply. The funds will improve the living conditions for thousands of Canadians.
Avenue Living’s multi-family residential business serves a significant segment of Canada’s lower- and middle-income workforce, known as the workforce housing rental segment. Specializing in Canada’s existing rental base, the company owns and operates more than 500 medium-density buildings, consisting of over 14,400 apartments and townhomes, in over 20 regions across Canada’s prairie provinces and the United States.
The goals of the sustainable retrofit projects include optimizing building performance, decreasing GHG emissions by more than 49 per cent and enhancing functionality and comfort for occupants.
Projects will be delivered simultaneously and focus on renewable energy generation on-site, low carbon heating and cooling, sensors and smart thermostats, optimized air filtration, water and vapour management, and energy consumption strategies to effectively reduce in-suite utility costs for lower-income renters.
The CIB’s investment is aligned with Avenue Living’s demonstrated focus on responsible fiscal management, strong risk mitigation, and ingenuity through engineering, construction, and unique retrofit solutions. The investment is expected to reach financial close in late 2022 with projects commencing shortly thereafter.
“The CIB is an impact investor helping to develop the next generation of infrastructure which benefits Canadians. We are pleased to commit $120 million to Avenue Living and finance the modernization of aging assets. Our financing solutions assist residential real estate owners in the implementation of new retrofit projects to reduce energy use and GHG emissions,” said Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank in a statement.
“With over 90 per cent of Canada’s rental universe built before 2000, Avenue Living is excited to be a pioneer in retrofitting these older units. We are eager to set a new standard and enhance green infrastructure programs for the entire industry – for years to come. The work that we are doing with CIB represents nearly 50 per cent of Avenue Living’s overall portfolio. By 2027, we have the vision of completing 100 per cent of our growing Canadian portfolio, continuing to positively impact the communities we serve,” said Anthony Giuffre, CEO, Avenue Living Group in a statement.
To date, the CIB has committed more than $800 million toward building energy retrofits. The CIB’s Commercial Building Retrofit Initiative targets building retrofit projects with a minimum of 30 per cent GHG-emission reduction at the building level. The CIB seeks to invest up to $5 billion into green infrastructure which supports climate change action and sustainable economic growth.
Founded on the principle of investing in the everyday, Avenue Living focuses on opportunities that are often overlooked by others, having grown to over $3.7 billion in aggregate assets under management across four private real estate investment mandates. The Avenue Living team includes over 750 professionals with expertise in real estate operations and transactions, property management, research, investment origination, and capital markets, as well as a suite of subject matter experts to support Avenue Living’s growing portfolio of multi-family residential, commercial, agricultural land, and self-storage assets. In addition to over 14,700 multi-family units located in Canada and the United States, Avenue Living and its related entities own over 496,500 square feet of commercial space, 82,827 acres of productive farmland, and more than 3 million square feet of self-storage space.
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