SmartCentres REIT is the Walmart-anchored chain of retail properties, with 75% of centres anchored by a Walmart store. It owns 168 properties with 34 million sq. ft. of retail space and $10.4 billion in assets. Having been a major underperformer, management announced a strategic refocus in 2020 to convert retail space into mixed-use communities, including residential, retirement, rental, and hotels, to be branded as SmartLiving Communities. Retail, storage, and office would continue under the SmartCentres brand. Some 12.4 million sq. ft. are already under development at a cost of $5.5 billion, although management is keen to maintain the strength of the balance sheet.

Income Investor

Having had a sharp recovery on the new strategic plan last year, SmartCentres is off 14% year to date. That’s still ahead of the REIT index, but the jury remains out on how successful the redevelopment approach will be. - Gavin Graham


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SRU.UN was first recommended here on March 19, 2008