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MCM purchased by Winchester Financial Group


After years in receivership, the Model City Mall now has a new owner in Winchester Real Estate Investment Trust out of Vaughan, ON. The company is part of Virtus Financial Group of Companies Inc.

The deal was finalized early this week.

“We closed on Tuesday,” said Vice-President of Property Management, James Gray. “We figure based on a number of factors, we can make the mall more profitable.”

Part of making the mall more profitable, said Gray, will involve significant changes.

“We’re looking to fix it up, fill it up and compress the tenancies together and compress the vacancies to make the front of the mall fuller,” said Gray. “The back portion of the mall we’re looking to demolish. Obviously we’re going to fill up what we can but we feel the mall would be more efficient if it was a little bit smaller.

“We have a number of properties from Florida to Thunder Bay, consisting of about 30 properties ranging from strip plazas to shopping centres to apartment buildings. We usually buy distressed properties, fix them up and fill them up.”

“We’re going to do some relocations and hopefully bring some new tenants to the property and revitalize the property. The former ownership was under a receiver and the receiver’s hands are to a certain extent tied with regards to how much money they can spend. You may a “AAA” tenant come in and say ‘we want 6,000 square feet but you guys have to spend $300,000 to put us in. While that deal may make a lot of sense on paper and to everybody involved, the trustee is not likely to do the deal. That’s not what they do. They minimize losses for the lien holders.

“For someone like us, if that same tenant comes to us with those conditions, it’s a no brainer. If we’ve got the space and we can put it together, we’ll make it happen. We’re very aggressive to put deals together.  That’s what our company actually does. We buy properties with upside potential.”

The company currently owns malls in Kirkland Lake, Espanola, Thunder Bay and Espanola, to name a few.

“In Kirkland Lake we put in a 23,000 square-foot Giant Tiger. In Espanola, when we bought the mall it was approximately 50 per cent vacant and that was brought down to two per cent within 23 months through the investment of a couple million dollars. In Parry Sound, the mall was purchased at 50 per cent vacancy and we brought it up to about two per cent, although that’s since changed due to various changes in retail conditions in that city,” Gray explained.

“We recognize the challenges of small towns. Espanola has 5,000 on the (population) sign, Parry Sound has 5,500… we’re used to dealing in small-town Ontario.

Winchester has shown a key interest in Kapuskasing for some time now.

“We looked at buying the Kapuskasing mall two years ago and four years ago, but we never came to terms with them,” said Gray. “But it’s at the level now, where it makes sense to do the deal.”

Gray said while changes are coming, Model Towners shouldn’t expect to see anything overnight or even six months from now.

“It’s going to take a few years,” he commented. “But I think people will find a couple of years down the road that they’re going to have a much tighter, more efficient, well run property than what it has been.”


Source: Kapuskasing Times

Our Mission at Winchester Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd.

Mission at Winchester Real Estate Investment

Winchester Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd. and president Aurelio Baglione provide property management services and build real estate portfolios in residential, industrial, and commercial sectors across North America.

Part of the Winchester Financial Group, the Winchester Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd. focuses on properties that are underutilized or underperforming. Our real estate professionals evaluate every property before acquisition, and our property management team makes sure every holding is providing optimal returns.

We firmly believe our years of success come from a commitment to our core values, following through with what we say, and approaching every transaction as a long-term partnership.

Our Core Values

At Winchester Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd., our success is based on the success of our investors and property holders. To achieve this, we stick to our core values:

  • Be supportive of the communities we are present in.
  • Increase property values with hands-on and responsible property management, including maintaining positive relationships with tenants.
  • Be trustworthy, and serve as a valuable resource of information for clients and partners.
  • Identify opportunities for growth, and ensure investments are sustainable for the long-term.
  • Continue to develop by adding expertise and knowledge to our team.

At Winchester Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd., We Deliver What We Say

We know it’s easy for companies to tell clients what they will do for them, but at Winchester Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd. we follow through with what we say. Every member of our team is committed to our core values, guaranteeing the highest-quality service to each of our clients, and we are always looking for new ways to improve.

Professionalism is the rule, not the exception, at Winchester Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd. Every interaction you have with our team will be guided by our commitment to handling your needs in a professional and helpful way. One of our core tenets is to always be honest with our clients, so if something doesn’t add up, we’ll be the first to talk to you about it. From our initial property surveys to sales of rehabilitated properties, we will handle all of your concerns with respect.

We recognize that success in real estate comes from having a network of partners to help streamline every step of the process, and we are dedicated to continuing to grow our network to best serve the needs of our clients.

Sustainability for Clients and the Environment

At Winchester Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd., we want to develop long-term relationships with our clients. You can be sure that we will identify the best prospects and services for your needs; we want you to grow with us.

We’re also fully committed to doing what we can to preserve our natural environment. Our team works with sustainability and green energy experts to ensure that our processes and materials are earth-friendly.

For a long-term partnership in real estate investment, Winchester Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd. under the leadership of president Aurelio Baglione is an expert in identifying, acquiring, re-habilitating, and managing under-utilized properties in North America. Our commitment is to the care and success of our clients.

Winchester Financial Corporation Acquires 436 Huron Street

Winchester Financial Corporation

Aurelio Baglione, Winchester Financial Corporation (Winchester Financial) and its affiliates are pleased to announce the purchase of 436 Huron Street, Goderich, Ontario. With the acquisition of this property, Winchester Financial now adds an impressive highway-fronted commercial property to their portfolio, which already consists of numerous holdings in Canada and the United States.

Winchester Financial specializes in acquiring, developing, and managing commercial properties that aren’t currently meeting their income potential. Aurelio Baglione, President, has 30 years of experience and has a well-seasoned property management department and a team of real estate professionals.

Why Focus on Commercial Properties?

The commercial real estate sector is traditionally one of the safest bets when it comes to investing in real estate. Even during the times of economic turmoil of recent years commercial property cash flow suffered very little. The key is to lease to quality tenants and remain vigilant in the leasing of vacant space. This makes our commercial property portfolio typically more stable even in times of economic uncertainty. This is in part because you have the leverage of knowing the tenant likely isn’t going to just walk away from their business—at times when the economy is less stable, commercial tenants will have just as much motivation to see the tough times through as a property owner does.

436 Huron Street

The commercial real estate market in the Ontario area continues to grow. More people than ever are looking to small-town, Ontario as an investment alternative to Toronto, and all types of commercial properties—office, retail, and industrial—have been highly sought after in the last few years for their huge upside potential.

Winchester Financial Corporation chose 436 Huron to add to an already impressive number of commercial holdings in the smaller Ontario markets. With over 5.5 acres and highway frontage, their newest acquisition is poised to join a growing commercial sector with easy access from neighboring areas. This 20,680 square foot building has two dock doors and two drive-in doors which means it is suitable for re-development for commercial use. This property is adjacent to the Huron & Suncoast Plaza, also owned by the Winchester Financial Group of Companies. Aurelio Baglione states “we are pleased to add this asset to our already successful Huron & Suncoast development, we built the Staples store and look forward to further development at this site.”

The property is strategic as it backs up to a Staples store and is just down Huron Road from a major development that includes a Wal-Mart. 

Winchester Financial Corporation owns and manages over 1 million square feet of real estate in Canada and the U.S., with the majority of property being located in Ontario. Winchester Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd. is the property management arm of the Winchester Financial Group.

Northwood Park Plaza, Thunder Bay, Ontario

  • No Frill now open, see attached photos “Winchester Financial Group is pleased to welcome Loblaws to it’s roster of tenants. No Frill opened in Northwood Park Plaza, Thunder Bay November 2013″
  • Winchester Financial Group is proud to announce that it has signed a lease with TDL Group for a new Tim Horton’s. Winchester anticipates construction to begin in late spring of 2015 on the site formerly occupied by Suny’s.
  • Winchester Financial Group is proud to announce that it has signed a lease with Pizza Pizza. Construction is nearly complete with an anticipated opening late in 2014.
  • Winchester Financial Group is proud to announce that Menchies Yogourt has now opened in the Northwood Park Plaza.

Ingersoll Plaza: Anytime Fitness now Open in Ingersoll

Ingersoll Plaza:  Anytime Fitness now Open in Ingersoll, breaks every Canadian record for pre-opening memberships and are getting close to breaking the international record…see attached.

Super Dollar Stop opens for business, plaza now fully occupied.  Another Winchester Success Story.

Winchester Financial Group has acquired 5 new real estate portfolios to manage

  1. Chelmsford – Dunnville
  2. Ingersoll
  3. Windsor (Dutton)
  4. Wisconsin Avenue Retail Centre
  5. Randall Road (Harlem Furniture)

Details of each real estate portfolio being managed is on the Assets Under Management Page.


414 Huron Road (Commercial Plaza within the Goderich/London – Retail/Residential Portfolio) was originally purchased with the potential to add an additional 7,000 square foot building. We have since negotiated an early termination of ‘Easy Home’ as a tenant and signed a new 15-year lease with Staples for 9,500 square feet.


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