RioCan earmarks $500 million for 2010 acquisitions

TORONTO — Retail property developer RioCan REIT has reported it aims to spend at least $500 million more for the rest of the year on acquisitions, with an eye trained on the U.S. market, which it entered last year. The REIT, which owns more than 200 retail properties, raised more than $1 billion of capital through a series of equity, mortgage financing and debenture offerings last year.

Executives said few acquisition opportunities were currently available on home turf, and those that are for sale do not meet RioCan’s standards. Instead, RioCan is looking to add to its $181 million joint venture with Cedar Shopping Centers, which, in the fall of last year, involved seven grocery store-anchored shopping centers in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

RioCan is zeroing in on the same kind of properties it is already familiar with — the supermarket-anchored open-air shopping center — which it deems the “most defensive, most resilient” of the commercial real estate segments. That compares to other segments such as the office market, where the global credit crisis hit hard, and has put the U. S commercial real estate market into its worst slump since the early 1990s.

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