CALGARY, May 31, 2016 /CNW/ - Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust ("BEI.UN" – TSX)
Boardwalk Rental Communities ("Boardwalk", "The Trust") would like to provide an update on its Communities in Fort McMurray.
- No major damages to any of its nine Communities in Fort McMurray
- Precautionary Environmental Testing of Soil and Ash is Underway
- Boardwalk's team has been on location since last week remediating and ensuring its Communities are safe
- Over 500 evacuated families have found new homes in Boardwalk's Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary Communities
Boardwalk's Fort McMurray Portfolio:
Boardwalk's Fort McMurray apartment portfolio represents a total of 352 units or approximately 1% of its over 33,000 apartment units across Canada. Working with both Provincial and Municipal agencies, Boardwalk's team was invited into Fort McMurray last week to prepare its Communities for general re-entry.
Boardwalk is pleased to advise that no major damages were sustained to any of its nine Communities, and only localized smoke damage was present in a small portion of its units and common areas. To date, Boardwalk has remediated all of the common areas, and are prepared to begin remediation of smoke damage in occupied units once those affected Resident Members have had an opportunity to consult their insurance companies regarding damages to personal belongings. Similar to the recent Provincial Government announcement, Boardwalk had commissioned precautionary environmental testing of soil and ash on arrival last week, and are awaiting results. We are excited to welcome home all of our existing and new Resident Members as the phased re-entry begins.
Sam Kolias, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Boardwalk REIT commented: "We would like to take this opportunity to thank and commend all of the first responders in this disaster for their efforts in protecting the City of Fort McMurray. The concerted response by both the Municipal and Provincial Governments has been nothing short of exceptional. Thank you to all of those who have been and continue to be involved in the firefight and re-building efforts. Our thoughts continue to be with those who were not so fortunate and have lost their homes."
Rob Geremia, President of Boardwalk REIT added: "Our first priority was ensuring the safety and well-being of our Resident Members and Associates during the crisis and we accomplished this by reaching out to each Resident Member and Boardwalk Associate to determine their location as well as provide a $1,500 cash reimbursement of their May's rent."
Since the evacuation, Boardwalk has offered a special rental package to any displaced resident of Fort McMurray which has included flexible lease terms, no security deposit, and discounts to rental terms. Boardwalk has opened its doors and welcomed home over 500 families who were evacuated from Fort McMurray. Over 500 families have joined our Edmonton Communities and another 90 families have been welcomed in Boardwalk's Red Deer and Calgary Communities.
Boardwalk will continue to work with Municipal and Provincial Agencies to provide housing in this time of need as well as offer special rental packages to displaced Fort McMurray Residents.
It is Boardwalk's understanding that any damage caused in excess of the Trust's deductible will be covered by our existing insurance policy. Similar to the Insurance Coverage used in other circumstances such as the 2013 Flooding in Calgary, this includes assessment, restoration and income loss, if any.
Boardwalk Fort McMurray Resident Member Re-Entry:
Based on the information available to Boardwalk at this time, and subject to Municipal and Provincial provisions that certain safety and essential service criteria are met, the phased re-entry into Fort McMurray is still expected to begin on June 1, 2016, however is subject to the Provincial and Municipal testing of environmental contaminants as a result of the fire.
The health and safety of our Resident Members is our first priority. At this time, Boardwalk is awaiting the results of its precautionary testing for environmental contaminants, and anticipates the results later this week. Until such time, we have been advised not to allow any Resident Members into the buildings. We will be in contact with our Resident Members to welcome them home once it is safe to do so.
Boardwalk will begin contacting each of its Resident Members to provide an update and discuss the details of each family's home
Resident Members are encouraged to contact Boardwalk Customer Service if they have any questions or concerns:
Boardwalk Customer Service Contact information:
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-310-9255
Website/Live Chat: www.bwalk.com
For updates, please stay tuned to your local media and regional authorities.
Boardwalk will continue to provide updates as we receive further information and encourage Resident Members, Associates and Stakeholders to monitor our web page at www.bwalk.com as we will be posting more detailed information as it becomes available.
About Boardwalk REIT
Boardwalk REIT strives to be Canada's friendliest landlord and currently owns and operates more than 200 communities with over 33,000 residential units totaling approximately 28 million net rentable square feet. Boardwalk's principal objectives are to provide its Residents with the best quality communities and superior customer service, while providing Unitholders with sustainable monthly cash distributions, and increase the value of its trust units through selective acquisitions, dispositions, development, and effective management of its residential multi-family communities. Boardwalk REIT is vertically integrated and is Canada's leading owner/operator of multi-family communities with 1,400 Associates bringing Residents home to properties located in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec.
Boardwalk REIT's Trust units are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol BEI.UN. Additional information about Boardwalk REIT can be found on the Trust's website at www.BoardwalkREIT.com.
SOURCE Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust
For further information: Media Relations: David McIlveen, Director of Community Development, 403-531-9255, firstname.lastname@example.org; Investor Relations: James Ha, Director of Finance and Investor Relations, 403-531-9255, JHa@bwalk.com