- Over 45 years of success
- Privately owned
- $7 billion of assets under management
- Vertically integrated owner & operator
- Focus on multi-unit residential rental, hospitality and alternative real estate assets
- 70+ investment and management professionals
- 150 employees with over 15 years of service
- Long standing strategic relationships and partnerships with large institutions such as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and HNW families.
Since establishing the firm over 45 years ago, the co-founders of Realstar are recognized as one of the most enduring partnerships in the Canadian real estate sector. We bring this same approach of consistency, honesty and integrity to all of our partnerships and customers.
Founded by Jonas Prince and Wayne Squibb, Realstar was created to address Canada’s need for high quality, affordable homes to rent. Since that time, we have become one of Canada’s largest private owner-operators of rental properties, with over 25,000 units coast-to-coast. More important to us, is our recognized success as an award-winning service provider to residents. Success in the rental housing sector led the firm into several ventures in the hospitality sector, not only in Canada, but Asia, the US and Caribbean as well.
Since that time Realstar has successfully invested in the primary healthcare, hotel and rental residential sectors, including co-ownership in the UK’s largest ever hotel property transaction and more recently the establishment of the UNCLE brand, a large scale rental housing platform in the UK (also referred to as Private Rental Sector (PRS) or Build-to-Rent).
As active owners and managers at heart, we are seldom passive investors. Our track-record is enhanced by the experience we bring to real estate deals through creative partnering, active on-going management and unique structuring.
We seek overlooked opportunities, often capital or product “misalignments,” where our point of view diverges from that of the market and our expertise can improve returns. We also look for investments with a low dependency on business cycles. Historically, we have invested in assets that sustain productivity and value in spite of fluctuations in the greater economy. These are often businesses where real estate is a major component that can be turned around or expanded dramatically with a creative new operating model.
Given its private ownership structure we are able to be discrete and dynamic in our approach and more ‘off the radar’. That said, some of our more notable transactions that are in the public domain include:
- Pagecorp – a public to private transaction of a large multi-unit residential firm
- Elephant & Castle – London’s tallest new-build rental housing project
- Primary healthcare – a nationwide portfolio of medical offices in the UK
- Delta Hotels & Resorts (now owned by Marriott)
- LRG Hotels – a portfolio of 73 Holiday Inns and Crowne Plaza hotels in the UK
- UNCLE - A portfolio of residential rental locations across the UK
- Bankside Hotel - A six storey hotel located on the South Bank in the heart of London, UK
- Days Inn (Canada)
- Motel 6 (Canada)
- 1974Realstar is founded by Jonas Prince and Wayne Squibb.
- 1975First apartment building in Bradford Ontario is constructed.
- 1977Evolution and innovation of the customer-service focused management model, the essence of which is still employed throughout the portfolio today.
- 1982Adds acquisition of existing properties to its new-build programmes.
- 1985Establishes its asset management platform.
- 1987Acquires Delta Hotels & Resorts.
- 1989Acquires Pagecorp in a large public to private transaction in partnership with institutional capital partners.
- 1992Acquires master franchise to Days Inn brand for Canada from Hospitality Franchise Systems (now Wyndham Worldwide).
- 1992Forms strategic partnership with British Columbia Pension to acquire multi-unit residential properties.
- 1995Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce become partners in Realstar property management platform.
- 1998Sale of Delta Hotels management company and brand.
- 2000Multi-unit residential portfolio grows to be one of Canada’s largest.
- 2002Ryan Prince establishes Realstar International in London.
- 2003Acquires primary healthcare portfolio across the UK.
- 2004Joint venture with Accor SA (now G6 Hospitality) in Canada for Motel 6, Studio 6 and Novotel; entry into the Manufactured Housing sector.
- 2005Acquisition of £1B UK Holiday Inn portfolio in joint venture with GIC Real Estate and Lehman Bros.
- 2008Realstar European Capital Fund I & Manufactured Housing Fund I.
- 2010Manufactured Housing Fund II.
- 2011Manufactured Housing Fund III; Realstar Apartment Partnership I.
- 2013Entry into UK multi-unit residential / PRS market; Realstar European Capital Fund II.
- 2014Realstar Apartment Partnership II.
- 2015Final disposal of LRG hotels portfolio; Realstar Apartment Partnership III; Realstar European Capital Fund III.
- 2016Sale of UK primary healthcare portfolio.
- 2017Realstar Apartment Partnership IV and Realstar European Capital IV
- 2017Launch of UNCLE brand in UK
- 2018Bankside Hotel opens in London, UK
- 2019Sale of Keystone manufactured housing
- 2019Realstar Apartment Partnership V
Our wide view of the real estate market – as investors, owners and managers – often reveals undervalued opportunities in fragmented or undersupplied niche markets. We also seek to aggregate multiple properties for greater operating leverage and improved margins.
The firm is considered one of the best managers in the country – both for its partners and residents. We are a vertically integrated organisation with in-house acquisition, financing, engineering, operations, HR, marketing and asset management functions. Our portfolio is coast-to-coast from Halifax to Victoria, with a large concentration in Ontario. Our approach incorporates all stages of development, including: existing properties, forward purchase, forward funding and ground-up construction.
UK Private Rental Sector (PRS) & Build-to-Rent (BtR)
Realstar was one of the first companies to identify the opportunity to become a market leader in the UK’s emerging multi-unit private rental sector back in 2010. Since that time, the firm has gone on to create a London portfolio in excess of 1,000 units to date. We have also brought Realstar’s management platform and expertise to the UK market and are currently planning a launch of a new transformative consumer brand which we will seek to grow beyond the UK in the future.
Our track record and experience in the hospitality sector include aspects of the hotel arena.
Our desire is to seek out investment opportunities which are challenging to existing owners or which the market place does not fully appreciate.
Brands and assets in which we have had an active role have included:
- Delta Hotels (Global)
- Days Inn (Canada)
- Holiday Inn (UK)
- Motel 6 & Studio 6 (Canada)
- Novotel (Canada)
- Regent Beverly Wilshire, Los Angeles
- Sheraton, Key Largo
- CAA Centre, Toronto
Our expertise is operating businesses with real estate on the balance sheet.
As a result, there are many related sectors we own (or would like to own) which fit our investment criteria, these include:
- Student housing
- Holiday parks
- Hostels Serviced apartments/ “apart hotels”
- Independent living