Northview Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust, NWT’s largest private landlord, will likely be bought for $4.8 billion.
Starlight Investments and KingSett Capital are the REIT’s new buyers, according to a news release Thursday.
It’s likely to go ahead: Northview’s board unanimously recommended that the REIT’s unit-holders vote for the deal, which would earn them up to $36.25 per unit. (That said, the REIT’s financial advisor can nonetheless shop for a higher bid in the next 60 days.)
“We look forward to building on Northview’s tenant focus by maintaining high-quality, well-operated and sustainable buildings,” Starlight’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Drimmer said in a news release.
He also indicated the buyers look to retain all of Northview’s “site level employees and operational staff, as well as its offices in Calgary and Toronto.”
The REIT has recently landed in hot water over its role in the limited competition facing the North’s rental market, and illegally charging pet fees.
In Legislative Assembly on Feb. 10 Yellowknife North MLA Rylund Johnson described the landlord as having a “near-monopoly on rental apartments in both Yellowknife and Inuvik.”
The purchase of Northview, which owns over 1000 units in Yellowknife, will dramatically increase KingSett Capital’s stake in NWT.
KingSett Capital has been the owner of Yellowknife’s Bellanca building since 2017. Built at the heart of the City’s downtown on 50 Street, the 55,000-square-foot tower and one-time government office has sat vacant since 2012.
In 2018, Kingsett Capital approached the City of Yellowknife and the NWT Housing Corporation with a $20 million plan to convert the tower to residential. It never went ahead.
Ownership of the building, via taxes and operating costs, has spelt yearly losses of about $350,000, NNSL Media reported in May.
At the time, Darin Benoit — a property manager at McCOR Management which oversees the building — said the building may be demolished last May.
The demolition would cost between $3 and $4 million. Ultimately, the decision was up to KingSett.
News of the possible demolition led Julie Green, MLA for Yellowknife Centre, to propose re-purposing the building.
“I understand it can be torn down, but that would obviously be a very expensive proposition and it may also be very wasteful to tear down an entire building given the needs we have for space in Yellowknife, especially in a prime location like that,” Julie Green told Yellowknifer at the time.