Annual Report 2023 - Avenue Living Asset Management Skip to content

2023

Charting
the Course

2023

Charting
the Course

A Message
From Our CEO

Anthony Giuffre
Anthony Giuffre

For over 17 years, we have built a unique operating platform with a specialized team and a defensible strategy. With our first property in Brooks, Alberta, we embarked on a journey to consolidate multi-family residential assets in secondary and tertiary markets that most investors overlooked.

For over 17 years, we have built a unique operating platform with a specialized team and a defensible strategy. With our first property in Brooks, Alberta, we embarked on a journey to consolidate multi-family residential assets in secondary and tertiary markets that most investors overlooked. We saw the need to build a proprietary platform that could deliver an exceptional resident experience while meeting the demands of our growing business. With a vertically integrated platform designed to acquire, optimize, and manage low-density real estate assets across moderate-growth markets, we have one of the most differentiated business models in our industry today.

 

Until 3 years ago, our portfolio was concentrated in the Canadian Prairies. We are now replicating our strategy across 7 provinces and 15 states — over one-third of Canada and the United States. During this period of expansion, we successfully navigated volatile market conditions, bolstered our platform, and fostered relationships with new and existing capital stakeholders to arrive at our most successful year in Avenue Living’s history.

 

2022 was a pivotal year in our business in many ways. With record-breaking returns, our total assets under management (AUM) grew from $3.1 billion to $4.6 billion — an increase of 48%. Our Core Trust AUM grew by nearly a third, Mini Mall Storage Properties more than doubled its portfolio growing to over $1 billion AUM, and our Agricultural Land Trust added 35,000 acres to increase its AUM by 88%. We opened new offices in Toronto and Dallas and expanded our Montreal presence to strengthen connections with investors and the financial community across North America. We continued to build on our diverse team and now have employees living in 8 provinces and 19 states. The success we are experiencing today has been forged through years of dedication to our strategy coupled with steadfast stakeholder support.

 

Our investments in real estate impact people’s day-to-day lives, which is why we actively evaluate the communities we operate in and find ways to help them thrive. We continued to invest in farmland, helping farmers meet the growing global food demand. We also began a landmark partnership with the Canada Infrastructure Bank to implement deep energy retrofits at 6,700 multi-family units across Western Canada, targeting a 49% reduction in GHG emissions and positively impacting 10,000 residents. This partnership follows the pledge we made as signatories of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment and marks an exciting way for us to lead the multi-family property industry and take real climate action for all Canadian renters.

 

Looking ahead to 2023, we see a year full of promise and rewards. No matter how the market shifts, we will continue to stay the course — with the help of an experienced, insightful team and a proven platform that allows us to keep driving value for our customers, investors, and employees.

 

Sincerely,

We saw the need to build a proprietary platform that could deliver an exceptional resident experience while meeting the demands of our growing business. With a vertically integrated platform designed to acquire, optimize, and manage low-density real estate assets across moderate-growth markets, we have one of the most differentiated business models in our industry today.

 

Until 3 years ago, our portfolio was concentrated in the Canadian Prairies. We are now replicating our strategy across 7 provinces and 15 states — over one-third of Canada and the United States. During this period of expansion, we successfully navigated volatile market conditions, bolstered our platform, and fostered relationships with new and existing capital stakeholders to arrive at our most successful year in Avenue Living’s history.

 

2022 was a pivotal year in our business in many ways. With record-breaking returns, our total assets under management (AUM) grew from $3.1 billion to $4.6 billion — an increase of 48%. Our Core Trust AUM grew by nearly a third, Mini Mall Storage Properties more than doubled its portfolio growing to over $1 billion AUM, and our Agricultural Land Trust added 35,000 acres to increase its AUM by 88%. We opened new offices in Toronto and Dallas and expanded our Montreal presence to strengthen connections with investors and the financial community across North America. We continued to build on our diverse team and now have employees living in 8 provinces and 19 states. The success we are experiencing today has been forged through years of dedication to our strategy coupled with steadfast stakeholder support.

Our investments in real estate impact people’s day-to-day lives, which is why we actively evaluate the communities we operate in and find ways to help them thrive. We continued to invest in farmland, helping farmers meet the growing global food demand. We also began a landmark partnership with the Canada Infrastructure Bank to implement deep energy retrofits at 6,700 multi-family units across Western Canada, targeting a 49% reduction in GHG emissions and positively impacting 10,000 residents. This partnership follows the pledge we made as signatories of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment and marks an exciting way for us to lead the multi-family property industry and take real climate action for all Canadian renters.

 

Looking ahead to 2023, we see a year full of promise and rewards. No matter how the market shifts, we will continue to stay the course — with the help of an experienced, insightful team and a proven platform that allows us to keep driving value for our customers, investors, and employees.

 

Sincerely,

Anthony Giuffre

Anthony Giuffre

FOUNDER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER & EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, AVENUE LIVING

FOUNDER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER & EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, AVENUE LIVING

About Us

Avenue Living is a vertically integrated real-estate owner and operator with nearly $6 billion in assets under management (AUM). Established in 2006, we acquire, reposition, and manage real estate assets across Canada and the United States. Centered around the ethos of “Investing in the Everyday,” we actively manage multi-family residential, self-storage, farmland, and commercial assets. We consider ourselves stewards of capital — our goal is to create long-term value and drive returns through our proven investment strategy.

core-trust

2006*

Inception date

Multi-family

Mutual fund

Mutual fund trust

Canada/u.s.

8-12%

10-Year target returns
Per Annum (Net of fees)

*Through predecessor entities
Core Trust was formed in 2017

mini mall

2020

Inception date

self-storage

Self-storage

Mutual fund

Mutual fund trust

Canada/u.s.

12-15%

10-Year target returns
Per Annum (Net of fees)

2016

Inception date

farmland

Farmland

Mutual fund

Mutual fund trust

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan

11-14%

10-Year target returns
Per Annum (Net of fees)

2016

Inception date

Multi-family/ Commercial

Mutual fund

Mutual fund trust (With sunset date)

Prairie provinces

Prairie provinces

10-15%

10-Year target returns
Per Annum (Net of fees)

2022

Inception date

Farmland

tract-2

Limited Partnership

tract-2

Saskatchewan

10-15%

10-Year target returns
Per Annum (Net of fees)

About Us

Avenue Living is a vertically integrated real-estate owner and operator with over $4.6 billion in assets under management (AUM). Established in 2006, we acquire, reposition, and manage real estate across Canada and the United States using 4 investment vehicles. Centred around the ethos of “Investing in the Everyday,” we actively manage B and C-class multi-family residential, self-storage, farmland, and commercial assets. We consider ourselves stewards of capital — our goal is to create long-term value and drive returns through our proven investment strategy.

Core Values

Our values and principles guide us every day.

We look to them every time we make decisions — big or small, for our team members, customers, residents, or investors, for the immediate future or the long term.

Duty of Care​

We go the extra mile for our customers, investors, and employees.

Entrepreneurial Spirit​

We own it, we adapt in the face of challenges, and we relentlessly pursue progress.

Integrity

Integrity

We act with integrity, and we always work to do the right thing.

honest

Honest Communication

We’re transparent in how we communicate and act.

together

In It Together

We stand together and work together to get things done.

Duty of Care​

We go the extra mile for our customers, investors, and employees.

Entrepreneurial Spirit​

We own it, we adapt in the face of challenges, and we relentlessly pursue progress.

Integrity

Integrity

We act with integrity, and we always work to do the right thing.

honest

Honest Communication

We’re transparent in how we communicate and act.

together

In It Together

We stand together and work together to get things done.

Macroeconomic Commentary

Favourable Supply & Demand Dynamics in Target Multi-Family Markets

Throughout 2023, we witnessed a remarkable surge in housing demand in Alberta, driven by historic levels of net migration as Canadians flocked to the province in search of more affordable living costs, while home-building struggled to keep pace. Net migration into Alberta skyrocketed by 168% year-over-year1, leading to a housing supply gap estimated at 130,000 homes by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)2. Leveraging these tailwinds, alongside improved operational efficiencies, Avenue Living achieved an impressive XX.X% growth in same-door net rental revenue throughout 2023, with net-operating income also showing a substantial improvement of XX.X%. Avenue Living strategically operates in markets where housing affordability remains with the CMHC’s affordability construct, which allowed us to provide homes from the surge of Canadians looking for more affordable housing options. Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate these tailwinds will persist, and we remain poised to meet the rising demand for affordable and comfortable housing in familiar markets while we continue to seek strategic acquisitions below replacement costs.

 

1 Source: https://economicdashboard.alberta.ca/dashboard/net-migration/#interprovincial

2 Source: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/professionals/housing-markets-data-and-research/housing-research/research-reports/accelerate-supply/housing-shortages-canada-updating-how-much-we-need-by-2030

Strategic Debt Management in
the Face of Rising Interest Rates

In 2023, the Bank of Canada raised its policy interest rate three times, pushing rates to levels not witnessed in over two decades. This economic tightening has had profound and far-reaching impacts across asset classes, and on real estate markets in particular. Avenue Living proved successful in navigating these challenging headwinds, strategically managing debt maturities, rotating out $X of variable rate debt into long-term mortgage instruments and effectively reducing the overall leverage profile of the Core Trust from X% to X%. Avenue Living’s debt management approach remains steadfast, independent of the economic cycle as we continuously strive to enhance our weighted average cost of capital and leverage ratios, while maintaining a robust liquidity position, ensuring our ability to weather economic uncertainties.

Defensible Asset Classes
Combating Inflationary Forces

Inflation remained above the Bank of Canada’s 2% target in 2023 having widespread impacts on financial markets, driving investors to seek stable returns and protection against the erosive effects of rising prices. Real assets, including multi-family properties, self-storage facilities, and farmland, provided ballast against inflation’s eroding influence with net-operating income and property values remaining correlated with CPI, continuing to provide stable cash flows and a consistent source of income for investors. Avenue Living’s private real estate vehicles remained closely tied to the fundamentals of underlying assets and shielded investors from the volatility observed in public market counterparts and target returns3 across each of our funds remain comfortably above inflation expectations.

 

3 Avenue Living target returns are per annum total returns, net of fees, on a 10-year basis

A Strategy Informed
by Research

Our data-informed strategy allows us to deliver superior service to our customers, while manufacturing alpha for our investors, to help our business thrive in any environment. In 2023, we continued to dedicate time and resources to researching the forces impacting the real estate industry. This work has optimized our operations to ensure we make informed decisions that benefit all our stakeholders.

Heading

Revitalizing Canada’s
Housing Landscape: The
Crucial Role of Retrofits

Harvesting Alpha in
Canada’s Agricultural
Heartland

Walking the Talk: How
Avenue Living Brings
Sustainable Investing to Life

What Investors Need to
Know About Borrowing
Amid Rising Interest Rates

An International Examination of Market Orientation & Performance in Residential Property Management

Sustainability

With our unique active management approach, our multi-family residential team effectively delivers on capital improvements and enhancements to benefit our residents and properties. These changes contribute to our portfolio’s ongoing sustainability, which enables us to address climate-related challenges on a significant scale. The United Nations estimates that 80% of today’s buildings will exist in 2050, making it crucial that older buildings are retrofitted to operate more efficiently. As one of Canada’s largest residential rental property owners, we understand the important role we play in this undertaking. We are committed to initiatives that reduce our carbon footprint and are proud to be industry leaders in sustainable solutions.

The importance of large-scale retrofits

Avenue Living’s $162 million partnership with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) progressed in 2023, with deep-energy retrofit projects taking shape in multi-family buildings across Western Canada. The sustainable retrofit initiatives aim to optimize building performance, reduce GHG emissions by up to 50%, and enhance functionality and comfort for over 10,000 Canadians.

To facilitate large-scale retrofits, we established processes and benchmarks to ensure repeatability and maximum benefit for all stakeholders from assessment to design to implementation.

The path to Large-Scale Retrofits

SunRise: A Beacon of Sustainability and Community Revival in Edmonton

Construction is under way at Avenue Living’s SunRise, formerly known as Capital Tower, a mixed-use multi-family and commercial property, located in Edmonton. Built in the 1970s, the property is poised for a comprehensive, sustainable upgrade. The capital improvements will include new interiors, insulation, triple-panel windows, heating and cooling systems, as well as a 26-metre (85-foot) array of solar panels, which will double as a mural that celebrates the intersection of Chinese and Indigenous cultures given its proximity to Chinatown and First Nations land. The $26 million project aligns with our sustainability initiatives and will result in a safe and comfortable home for future residents.

SunRise: A Beacon of Sustainability and Community Revival in Edmonton

Construction is under way at Avenue Living’s SunRise, formerly known as Capital Tower, a mixed-use multi-family and commercial property, located in Edmonton. Built in the 1970s, the property is poised for a comprehensive, sustainable upgrade. The capital improvements will include new interiors, insulation, triple-panel windows, heating and cooling systems, as well as a 26-metre (85-foot) array of solar panels, which will double as a mural that celebrates the intersection of Chinese and Indigenous cultures given its proximity to Chinatown and First Nations land. The $26 million project aligns with our sustainability initiatives and will result in a safe and comfortable home for future residents.

Investing in the Future

With an estimated 90% of Canada’s residential rental stock built prior to 2000, the potential to reduce overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the housing sector through targeted environmental conservation measures (ECMs) is significant.

Through regular auditing of buildings, Avenue Living is able to identify and implement ECMs in buildings across our portfolio. We perform critical updates, replace cumbersome end-of-life systems, and reduce overall emissions.

Our systematic approach allows us to increase our positive impact while minimizing cost as well as any disruption to residents 

Interactive Diagram

Hover over each icon to learn more about our energy conservation measures

Freedom Through Financial Health

In late 2021, we partnered with Zenbase, an innovative fin-tech solution that provides financial peace of mind to residents by allowing them to split their monthly rent payment into smaller installments. The service helps residents reduce the financial stress that comes with late fees. It also minimizes the time property managers spend on rent collections.

In 2023, we’re proud to be the first property manager in Canada to adopt a rent reporting program through Zenbase. The automated rent reporting solution, CreditBuilder, gives our 25,000+ residents the opportunity to build personal credit through their existing rent payments. The program has numerous benefits including access to lower interest rates and better financial products, all while obtaining a verified and sharable rent payment history.

Since launching the services, we’ve had strong buy-in from residents, showing the demand — and need — for fin-tech solutions that bolster their financial health.

Fostering Respect & Collaboration

We value our employees and ensure that each individual can achieve their full potential by fostering a culture of respect, inclusivity, and diversity. By creating equal opportunities for all employees, we have built a stronger business that is poised to serve our customers and communities. Through important partnerships, employee engagement, and benefits that include access to family, financial, and mental health support, we strive to create safe spaces and opportunities, regardless of identity, nationality, or beliefs.

Supporting the Community

Every year, we enhance our commitment to support our communities through sponsorships, donations, partnerships, and volunteering. We are proud to have team members across the organization that actively support important organizations and causes that align with our three social impact pillars:

CHILDREN
& FAMILIES

HEALTHY
COMMUNITIES

DIVERSITY, EQUITY
& INCLUSION

Employer-Supported Volunteerism

Our teams have always shown a passion for community causes, dedicating their own time and resources to help a range of instrumental groups outside of work.

In Q4 2023, we launched a new Employer-Supported Volunteerism (ESV) initiative to provide more time and opportunities for our employees to make a positive impact alongside other Avenue Living team members during work hours.

Within the first three months, our employees donated over 160 hours of recorded volunteer time to organizations in our communities. This initiative supported 10 distinct organizations across the Prairies, including local food banks, Canadian Blood Services, veteran and seniors’ resource centers, community kitchens, and drop-in centers.

Avenue giving

In the face of escalating food bank usage, our steadfast commitment to alleviating hunger and bolstering communities remained strong.

Together, with our residents, we raised 7,193 pounds of food. By providing a convenient platform for our teams and residents to come together and give back, we continue to build meaningful relationships and make a real impact through our contributions. This achievement spanned across X locations, showcasing our communities’ widespread reach and collective generosity.

Avenue Living conducts business with integrity, honesty, and transparency. We have established policies and procedures to reduce risk and effectively handle various business scenarios. As custodians of capital and responsible building owner-operators, we recognize the importance of applying top-tier governance practices throughout our operations to safeguard the best interests of our investors.

Ethics

Avenue Living adheres to a comprehensive Code of Business Conduct with ethical standards to guide our decision-making. This code communicates expected employee behavior, and compliance with laws, promotes professionalism, and deters misconduct.

Along with our commitment to ethical practices, Avenue Living provides a mechanism for confidentiality to address any complaints related to ethics, law violations, accounting, internal controls, auditing, fraud, or non-compliance. Each of our funds’ boards has adopted a Whistleblower Policy to facilitate secure reporting and a culture of openness without fear of discrimination, retaliation, or harassment, whether reported anonymously or otherwise.

Security

Our cybersecurity policy is designed to enhance the security of our digital infrastructure. This proactive measure reflects our commitment to safeguarding our customers and stakeholders while maintaining their trust. By prioritizing security, we aim to mitigate potential risks and ensure the resilience of our operations in an increasingly digital landscape.

Affiliations

We have strong relationships with industry-leading organizations that bolster our commitment to delivering stable results, making conscientious decisions, and creating safe and welcoming environments for our team and customers.

Independent Board Members

Samira Alibhai

Managing Principal, Mirada Investments Ltd.; Managing Director, LLS Hospitality, Inc.

Dr. Brian Brodie

Chairman of the Board, Mini Mall Storage Properties Trust; Physician; Past Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Medical Association; Former President, Doctors of B.C.

Jack Coldwell

Chartered Professional Accountant; Former Board Member, Calgary Heritage Foundation

Catherine Connolly

Founder and President, Gist Capital Solutions Inc.; Past Chair of Institute of Corporate Directors (Calgary Chapter); Former Chair of Alberta Teachers’ Pension Plan Investment Committee

JT Dhoot

Founder and Principal, Omnis Valuations and Advisory Ltd.

John Fisher

Executive Vice President, CBRE

Dave Guichon, KC

Chairman of the Board, Tract Farmland Partners; Senior Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP; Former Vice President Law, Alliance Pipeline Group; Former CEO, Beauvert Gas Services Ltd.

Catriona Le May Doan

President and CEO, Sport Calgary

Salima Shivji

Inaugural Executive Director, Movement 51; Former Senior Associate, Dentons Canada LLP

Robert Verbuck

Chairman of the Board, Avenue Living Real Estate Core Trust; Managing Partner Western Canada, DS Lawyers LLP

Brad Wall

Special Advisor to the Tract Farmland Partners Board Special Advisor, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP; Former Premier of Saskatchewan

Avenue Living Real Estate Core Trust

Mini Mall Storage Properties Trust

Tract Farmland Partners

Operating Platforms

Avenue Living
Asset Management

Avenue Living
Communities

Mini Mall
Storage Properties

Operating Platforms

Avenue Living Asset Management

Avenue Living Communities

Mini Mall Storage Properties

Our Funds

Core
Trust

Mini Mall Storage
Properties Trust

Agricultural
Land Trust

Opportunity
Trust

Our Funds

Core
Trust

Mini Mall Storage
Properties Trust

Agricultural
Land Trust

Opportunity
Trust

Our Portfolio

Interactive Map

Hover or tab over a state or province to see the number of properties managed by Avenue Living

This report has been prepared for informational purposes only.  It does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any securities in any jurisdiction and it does not, and is not intended to, provide any financial, legal, accounting, or tax advice or counsel and must not be relied upon in that regard. This report is not to be distributed, reproduced, or communicated to any third party without the express written consent of Avenue Living Asset Management Ltd. 

 

Certain information set forth in this report may contain “forward-looking information” under applicable securities legislation. Such forward-looking statements may include, without limitation: expansion plans for the Avenue Living Group and its business and projects; execution of the Avenue Living Group’s vision and growth strategy; and sources and availability of third-party financing for the Avenue Living Group’s projects. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions, including without limitation: expectations about general economic conditions and conditions in the real estate markets where the projects are located or where the Avenue Living Group operates; expectations about the ability to raise sufficient funds to complete business objectives; and expectations about the Avenue Living Group’s ability to continue to execute on its business plans.  Although forward-looking statements contained in this report are based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.  Management undertakes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change, except as may be required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results, and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding future performance or any other factor mentioned in this report.

 

Avenue Living Asset Management Ltd. accepts no liability for any loss arising from the use of the information contained herein.  Information, opinions or statistical data contained herein was obtained or derived from sources believed to be reliable, including from third-party sources, but Avenue Living Asset Management Ltd. does not represent that any such information, opinion, or statistical data is accurate or complete, and they should not be relied upon as such. All estimates and opinions expressed herein constitute judgements as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. Avenue Living Asset Management Ltd. may have prepared certain information internally using proprietary analysis (unaudited).

 

The properties discussed in this report are not indicative of the full portfolio of properties held by the Avenue Living Group and there is no guarantee that future acquisitions will be comparable to the properties presented or will have similar results.

This report has been prepared for informational purposes only.  It does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any securities in any jurisdiction and it does not, and is not intended to, provide any financial, legal, accounting, or tax advice or counsel and must not be relied upon in that regard. This report is not to be distributed, reproduced, or communicated to any third party without the express written consent of Avenue Living Asset Management Ltd. 

 

Certain information set forth in this report may contain “forward-looking information” under applicable securities legislation. Such forward-looking statements may include, without limitation: expansion plans for the Avenue Living Group and its business and projects; execution of the Avenue Living Group’s vision and growth strategy; and sources and availability of third-party financing for the Avenue Living Group’s projects. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions, including without limitation: expectations about general economic conditions and conditions in the real estate markets where the projects are located or where the Avenue Living Group operates; expectations about the ability to raise sufficient funds to complete business objectives; and expectations about the Avenue Living Group’s ability to continue to execute on its business plans.  Although forward-looking statements contained in this report are based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.  Management undertakes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change, except as may be required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results, and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding future performance or any other factor mentioned in this report.

 

Avenue Living Asset Management Ltd. accepts no liability for any loss arising from the use of the information contained herein.  Information, opinions or statistical data contained herein was obtained or derived from sources believed to be reliable, including from third-party sources, but Avenue Living Asset Management Ltd. does not represent that any such information, opinion, or statistical data is accurate or complete, and they should not be relied upon as such. All estimates and opinions expressed herein constitute judgements as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. Avenue Living Asset Management Ltd. may have prepared certain information internally using proprietary analysis (unaudited).

 

The properties discussed in this report are not indicative of the full portfolio of properties held by the Avenue Living Group and there is no guarantee that future acquisitions will be comparable to the properties presented or will have similar results.