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(Courtesy of The Gazette)
Investing in Montreal
Halifax developer Homburg building properties, portfolio in city
By BILL POWER Staff Reporter
Mon. Apr 7 - 5:47 AM
Richard Homburg, president of Homburg Invest. Inc, has just launched the $35-million Phase II of the 333 Sherbrooke St. E. luxury condominium project in Montreal. He also has an ambitious plan for the CN Central Station in the city, a project that will bring Homburg Invest Inc.’s portfolio in Montreal up to the $1-billion mark. (CNW)
A HALIFAX property developer is helping reshape the Montreal skyline and attributes increasing investor interest in the city to its annual Grand Prix and acclaimed jazz and comedy festivals.
Richard Homburg just launched the $35-million Phase II of the 333 Sherbrooke St. E. luxury condominium project and at the same time unveiled an ambitious plan for the CN Central Station in the heart of the city that he scooped up last year for $355 million.
The completed project will bring the Homburg Invest Inc. portfolio in Montreal up to the $1-billion mark.
Mr. Homburg said in Montreal he will build two $150-million 24-storey office towers at the CN Central Station site to take advantage of a proposed new link between the downtown location and Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport at Dorval.
"The best is yet to come for property investment in the Montreal region," the Halifax-based developer said in a release.
"The Montreal office market is on fire, and downtown core vacancy rates have fallen sharply with little new space on the horizon. . . . The condo market will continue to flourish for several more years."
Mr. Homburg told the Montreal Real Estate Forum he believes Montreal real estate is undervalued compared to that of other cities in Canada and around the world.
"Montreal is ideally situated at a major crossroads for European and North American trade and business," he said.
The Sherbrooke Street project is in the heart of Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood and consists of 83 condominium units in the first phase and another 67 in the second phase, and 30 townhouses connecting to the property. Initial occupancy is set for fall 2008 and the first phase is sold out. Units cost $350,000 to $2 million.
Mr. Homburg said the real estate market in Montreal is supported by rising investment in both public and private projects.
"Major tourist events like the Grand Prix, the jazz festival and the comedy festival attract people from all over the world who also come here to shop in the city’s highly developed shopping districts and eat in the city’s renowned restaurants," he said.
Homburg Invest has been very busy in Montreal for the past three years.
Major acquisitions include Place Alexis Nihon, as part of the $485 million Alexis Nihon REIT purchase; the CN Central Station for $355 million and a partnership interest in the $400-million redevelopment of the historic Chateau Viger site.
Through these and other properties the company says it owns more than 1.5 million square feet of prime retail space in Montreal.
Beacon Securities Ltd. in Halifax said it was initiating coverage of Homburg Invest with a buy rating and a 12-month price target of $4.75. It noted Homburg shares were recently trading at about $3.60 on the TSX.
"Homburg’s $3-billion development pipeline has a total of 15 projects, with completion dates ranging over the next decade," analyst Michael Mills said in his outlook and financial forecast, distributed Friday.
"However, many of the projects are condo resales and the commercial projects in the pipeline will not add to leasable square footage during our two-year forecast period," the forecast said.
( [email protected])
‘The best is yet to come for property investment in the Montreal region.’
RICHARD HOMBURGProperty developer