Harrison Street has announced the closing of a dedicated fund targeting Canadian markets for new senior living, student housing, medical office, life science storage and digital assets.
The Harrison Street Canada Alternative Real Estate Fund recently completed its first closing, with an expected initial investment capacity of over 550 million Canadian dollars, or just over $433 million at today’s exchange rates. Through the fund, Harrison Street plans to invest in “stabilized, cash-flow producing assets with up to 35% invested in value-add strategies” according to an announcement Thursday.
The company estimates that roughly a third of the portfolio’s investments will lie in senior living.
Harrison Street Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO Christopher Merrill noted that the expansion into the Canadian market is a “natural evolution” for the Chicago-based private real estate investment management firm.
“We are thrilled to bring our deep expertise and track record to the Canadian market,” Merrill said in the announcement. “Demographic characteristics in Canada are like those we see in the United States, however, alternative real estate remains underdeveloped compared to the U.S. market.”
The Fund has already garnered capital commitments from investors, including “prominent Canadian family offices” such as the Hennick Family. Jay Hennick is the chairman, CEO and largest shareholder of Colliers International, which in 2018 acquired a 75% stake in Harrison Street.
Harrison Street plans to grow its business in Canada by establishing relationships with local developers and operators. That is similar to how it has grown in the U.S., according to Jonathan Turnbull, managing director and head of Canadian Transactions for Harrison Street.
“We have a robust and actionable pipeline of off-market opportunities with multiple partners across our sectors of focus and several investments, closing in the near term, are in partnership with operators who are new to the Harrison Street platform,” he said in the announcement. “Additionally, our strategic alignment with Colliers, one of the top global players in commercial real estate will further amplify our reach into the market.”
It has been a busy year for Harrison Street. The company raised money in late 2020 with the overall goal of building a fund worth up to $2 billion to deploy this year. In June, the firm acquired a 24-property portfolio operated by Oakmont Senior Living for about $1.2 billion.
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More recently, Harrison Street announced it had forged a joint-venture project with Anthology Senior Living to develop three senior living communities in Massachusetts and Florida.