Suess and her team are carefully monitoring legislative developments and entrenching themselves in the business. When there are discussions around rent, deferral situations, abatement situations, and opportunities to partner with tenants in new and creative ways, Suess says the legal group is at the forefront of these initiatives and available to offer practical advice.
“Continuing our focus on mixed-use, transit-oriented urban-located centres is the future of RioCan,” she says. Suess expects sectors such as apparel, movie theatres and gyms to come back with a vengeance as restrictions lift. It is essential to recognize the need to incorporate e-commerce with the brick-and-mortar shopping experience to maximize the customer and tenant’s benefit, she says.
Following a pause in the transaction market last year, real estate investors have regained confidence, and the market is starting to rebound.
“Real estate investors generally take a long-term view on the investment, and so once investors regained confidence that we weren’t going to be living in a lockdown forever, I think that had a good positive impact on the transaction market, and things really started to come back,” says Alison Harnick, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at First Capital REIT.
The First Capital team focuses on finding silver linings amid the disruption, such as seizing opportunities to purchase properties that would otherwise not have been available and filling vacant retail space with different operators.