True North Commercial REIT closes $18M purchase of Moodie Drive property

A pair of office buildings in Bells Corners officially has a new owner.

True North Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX: TNT.UN) says it’s completed its purchase of 301-303 Moodie Dr., a 4.51-acre property located just north of Robertson Road.

The REIT says the two buildings – one four storeys, the other five storeys – contain 185,000 square feet of rentable space. It’s 85 per cent occupied, with an average remaining lease term of 4.6 years.

“This addition complements our existing portfolio in the Ottawa area, is well-located and satisfies our criteria of being occupied by government and credit-rated tenants,” Daniel Drimmer, the REIT’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Listings show the Moodie Drive office buildings were previously managed by Manulife Real Estate. Current tenants include Collins Barrow Ottawa LLP, Recognia and RBC.

The west Ottawa property was one of five assets that True North agreed to buy last month. The other properties include office buildings in Victoria, Halifax, Richmond Hill and Cambridge, Ont.

True North said it was financing the $18-million purchase price for the Moodie Drive property through a combination of cash on hand as well as mortgage financing of approximately $11.7 million, with an annual interest rate of 3.53 per cent for a five-year term.

Bells Corners is attracting renewed interest from some developers and real estate professionals as the Department of National Defence moves into the former Nortel campus farther north on Moodie Drive.

Colonnade Bridgeport, for example, is planning to turn an auto repair shop and outlet store into a new six-storey hotel and restaurant at a cost of about $18 million.

True North REIT also noted that Ottawa’s east-west light-rail line is scheduled to be extended to Moodie Drive by 2023.