Mainstreet leveraging current market opportunities

    CALGARY, Feb. 14 /CNW/ - Mainstreet Equity Corp. ("Mainstreet" or "the
Corporation") delivered some positive results in Q1 2008(1) despite increased
vacancy rates and operating costs due to the high proportion of acquired
properties being stabilized (renovated and repositioned), especially in
Edmonton. The Corporation's number one focus for Q2 is to complete the
stabilization process in Edmonton by the end of Q2 2008.
    Mainstreet has a distinct advantage in this period of economic and market
uncertainty in that it is positioned for continued solid growth, with assets
in the right markets, a sound capital structure, and available cash to fund
accretive acquisitions in an opportunistic environment.

    (1) This first quarter report is for the three-month period ended
        December 31, 2007. Mainstreet's current fiscal year ends
        September 30, 2008.


    1.  Stabilization efforts back on track

        -  In Q1 2008 the Corporation successfully addressed its labour
           shortage in Edmonton and, with a full staff of workers, was able
           to speed the pace of stabilization of its non-stabilized (not yet
           renovated) Edmonton properties, which represent 9% of the total

        -  Stabilization of 438 units in the B.C. portfolio was completed in
           Q1 2008, which represented 8% of the total portfolio.

        -  As of December 31, 2007, 36% of the total portfolio remained
           non-stabilized compared to 46% as of September 30, 2007.

    2.  Portfolio grew by 17%

        -  As of December 31, 2007, Mainstreet's portfolio of properties had
           grown to 5,261 rental units compared to 4,515 units at
           December 31, 2006.

    3.  Mortgage costs lowered and capital generated through refinancing

        -  In Q1 2008, $23 million of matured and short-term mortgages were
           refinanced for $33 million, raising additional funds of
           $10 million. The average interest rate on these mortgages dropped
           to 5.15% from 7.25%, which will result in annualized savings of
           $464,000 in interest expenses over the next 10 years.

    4.  Overall funds from operations increased 25%

        -  Funds from operations (FFO) from continued operations in Q1 2008
           decreased to $0.9 million ($0.06 per share), compared to
           $1.3 million ($0.14 per share) in Q1 2007 due mainly to high
           vacancy and operating costs during the stabilization process.
           Fully diluted FFO per share was $0.06 in Q1 2008 as compared to
           $0.09 in Q1 2007.

        -  Mainstreet sold four properties in Brooks, Alberta acquired in
           August 2007 for the purpose of resale, which occurred in October
           2007. FFO of $726,000 ($0.05 per share) was generated. As a
           result, total FFO for Q1 2008 was $1.6 million ($0.11 per share)
           compared to $1.3 million ($0.14 per share) in Q1 2007. On a fully
           diluted basis, the total FFO per share was $0.11 in Q1 2008 as
           compared to $0.09 in Q1 2007.

    5.  Rental revenue up 18% in Q1

        -  Total rental revenue from continuing operations was $11.2 million
           in Q1 2008 compared to $9.6 million in Q1 2007. This increase is
           due mainly to growth in Mainstreet's portfolio and an increase in
           rental rates, particularly in the province of Alberta.

    6.  "Same assets" rental revenues increased 6%

        -  "Same assets" rental revenues increased modestly to approximately
           $9.8 million in Q1 2008 from $9.2 million in Q1 2007. The
           performance of same assets properties was affected adversely in Q1
           by high vacancy rates and operating costs largely related to
           stabilization of the Edmonton portfolio.

    7.  Net operating income rose 8%

        -  Net operating income (NOI) in Q1 2008 reached $6.5 million,
           compared to $6.0 million in Q1 2007.

    8.  "Same assets" NOI remained steady

        -  "Same assets" NOI remained at $5.8 million in Q1 2008,
           virtually unchanged compared to Q1 2007 levels, resulting from
           high vacancy rates and operating costs due largely to
           stabilization activities in Edmonton.

    9.  Q1 acquisition in Saskatoon

        -  Mainstreet acquired an additional 11 units in Saskatoon at an
           average cost per door of $21,000, well below estimated market
           value and replacement cost. Including this acquisition, the
           Saskatoon portfolio had grown to 465 rental units at the end of
           Q1 2008.


    Despite the challenges related to current market conditions, Mainstreet
considers this a period of opportunity where it may be able to take advantage
of the flat market with less competition to acquire properties. The
Corporation's acquisition strategy in the short term will be to monitor market
conditions closely and purchase properties when it feels it can achieve the
greatest benefits. Management expects this will result in a slowdown of
acquisition activity in the next quarter. However, Mainstreet's goal remains
to achieve aggressive growth. The Corporation anticipates it will resume a
higher volume of acquisitions in Q3 and Q4 2008.
    Mainstreet's main focus in Q2 will be to complete stabilization of its
Edmonton portfolio by April 1, 2008 and achieve 95% occupancy of currently
non-stabilized Edmonton properties by December 31, 2008. This is expected to
have a substantial positive impact on cash flow in the 2009 fiscal year --
increasing rental revenues and lowering general and administrative and
operational costs.
    Stabilization of its Edmonton properties also will allow Mainstreet to
convert properties currently under short-term interim financing arrangements
at relatively high interest rates to long-term mortgages insured by Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) at lower interest rates. This is
expected to lower financing costs. The Corporation plans to refinance
approximately $77 million of its $90 million of floating financing and
maturing mortgages for the fiscal year 2008 and anticipates substantial
savings in interest expenses will result.
    Mainstreet is in an excellent position moving forward. The Corporation
has a significant advantage in that its long-term mortgages are insured by
CMHC. This provides some protection from the credit crunch, which appears to
be a reaction to the U.S. sub-prime mortgage crisis.
    The Corporation is also positioned in the strongest rental markets in
Canada -- Vancouver/Lower Mainland, Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon --
representing 88% of its portfolio. As well, Management sees tremendous
potential for future growth in rental income and acquisitions in Saskatoon.
Mainstreet will continue with the normal course issuer bid, which began
July 3, 2007 and will end July 2, 2008. In December 2007, the Corporation
purchased and cancelled 5,000 common shares and took advantage of the current
undervalued share price.
    Management is optimistic about prospects in the current market
environment and its proven ability to identify and follow through on
opportunities. The Corporation expects a successful year because it is in the
right markets, has the cash to support continued growth and does not need to
rely on the capital markets to raise funds. In addition Mainstreet now has the
human resources to aggressively complete the stabilization process in
Edmonton, which is expected to have a substantial positive impact on financial

    About Mainstreet

    Mainstreet is a Calgary-based, growth-oriented real estate corporation
focused on the acquisition, redevelopment, repositioning, asset and property
management of mid-market apartment buildings. The Corporation currently owns
and operates residential rental units, including apartments and townhouses, in
Vancouver/Lower Mainland (Surrey), Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Greater
Toronto Area. Mainstreet's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock
Exchange under the symbol MEQ. There are currently 14,758,673 common shares
    The above disclosure may contain forward-looking statements that involve
substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking
statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are
beyond the Corporation's control, including: the impact of general economic
conditions in Canada, industry conditions, increased competition, the lack of
available qualified personnel or management, equipment failures, stock market
volatility, and fluctuations in rental prices, energy costs and foreign
exchange or interest rates. The Corporation's actual results, performance or
achievements could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by,
these forward-looking statements and, accordingly, no assurances can be given
that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will
transpire or occur, or, if any of them do so, what benefits the Corporation
will derive from them.

For further information:

For further information: Bob Dhillon, President and CEO, (403) 215-6063;
 Additional information is available at:,

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