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TORONTO-RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust has paid $82 million for 658,000-sf of retail space in two malls, the 218,900-sf West Ridge Place in Orillia, Ontario and the 437,500-sf Southland Mall in Regina, Saskatchewan. The separate transactions included the assumption of $35.4 million in two mortgages carrying undisclosed interest rates. The malls have a combined vacancy rate of less than 3%.

RioCan is Canada’s largest real estate investment trust with total assets in excess of $3.6 billion. It has ownership interests in a portfolio of 165 retail properties across Canada containing an aggregate of about 32 million sf. The sellers of the two malls were not identified in a RioCan announcement and a source at RioCan did not return a phone call on Monday seeking further comment.

West Ridge Place is a newly constructed, open-air center anchored by Wal-Mart, Sport Chek, and A&P, together with a non-owned, freestanding Home Depot. Other national tenants include Hallmark, Buck or Two, Payless Shoes, Tim Hortons and Bank of Nova Scotia. The 218,900-sf center is currently 96% occupied. Mortgage debt of approximately $6.4 million was assumed on this acquisition; the balance of the purchase price was satisfied with existing cash resources.

Southland Mall is a 437,500-sf regional shopping center anchored by Wal-Mart, Safeway and a Cineplex Odeon theatre with other national tenants including Chapters, Sport Chek, Montana’s and Kelsey’s restaurants, and Bank of Montreal. The property is currently 99% leased. Mortgage debt of approximately $29 million was assumed as part of the acquisition; the balance of the purchase price satisfied with existing cash resources.

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