Four New Members Join the University’s Real Estate Advisory Committee

From: Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships
Date: November 9, 2023
Re: Four New Members Join the University’s Real Estate Advisory Committee

The University of Toronto is addressing a critical need for on-campus housing, innovation space and other services with its double bottom line 4 Corners (4C) Strategy, a plan that creates a future source of revenue to help fund U of T’s academic mission – and contributes to the vitality of the city’s urban fabric. The approach is laid out in a policy framework dubbed the “four corners strategy” which is meant to guide the university’s thinking as it goes about building new, high quality, non-academic amenities and services on the periphery of U of T’s downtown Toronto campus, as well as at U of T Scarborough and U of T Mississauga.

U of T’s Real Estate Advisory Committee (REAC), comprised of both internal and external stakeholders, has been pivotal to our real estate strategy for well over a decade, providing the university with feedback and guidance gleaned from their years of experience and depth of knowledge as successful real estate executives. Most recently, Committee members helped to guide the 4C vision and advised on other key development strategies, including the purchase of CAMH lands and the joint venture we have with the Daniels Corporation that is building the Oak House student residence. As friends and benefactors to the university, members provide sage advice on individual projects, such as the Schwartz-Reisman Innovation Campus, as well as broad feedback as the university navigates the challenges of the Toronto real estate market.

We are pleased to welcome four new members who will add further expertise to the Committee’s ranks, and who will contribute to the continued execution and success of the 4 Corners strategy. The following new members join the Advisory Committee:

Travis McCready, Head of Life Sciences Markets in the Americas for JLL

Travis leads a multi-country platform that includes brokerage, capital markets, project management, consulting & advisory, and valuation services for life sciences companies, developers and investors. He also co-leads the firms Innovation Districts Practice, helping plan, build and finance innovation districts all over North America. Travis has over 25 years of experience leading public, private, and non-profit ventures with a focus on technology and innovation based economic development. He serves on the boards of the global business accelerator MassChallenge, the global life sciences business enabler Nucleate, and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. He also serves in advisory capacities at Harvard University, MIT, and Johns Hopkins University. Travis has served on the Economic Development Planning Council under three Massachusetts governors and has been appointed to state and national initiatives ranging from the arts to advanced manufacturing. Travis received his B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University, and J.D. from the University of Iowa.

Sherry Larjani, President of Spotlight Developments

Sherry founded Spotlight in 2010 to specialize in the acquisition of properties for redevelopment into high density residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects. In 2019, Sherry partnered with Urban Capital to create “Reina”, a project with Canada’s first all-female development team to raise awareness of gender inequality in the industry and the many roles women can play. In the same year she also started the Aria Foundation, a charitable organization that helps non-for-profit housing partners empower lower-income families to become homeowners. Through her non-for-profit, Spotlight Affordable Ventures, Sherry is building a complete community called “The Inclusive”, the first of its kind: an affordable housing complex with multiple towers that includes poverty-reducing wrap-around services including a 24-hour day-care, a medical centre, skilled-trades training, food bank access, and a Brands for Canada store with donated clothes and hygiene items. These complete communities will also feature planting gardens, solar panels, and geothermal technology. The first location will be built at Black Creek and Lawrence, in Toronto, and the second location will be built at the corner of Block-Line Road and Courtland Avenue in Kitchener.

Janice Lin, Managing Director & Head of Canada for Blackstone Real Estate Group

Before joining Blackstone, Janice was the Chief Investment Officer for Revera, Inc., a global owner of differentiated retirement living operators with residences throughout Canada, the U.S. and U.K. Prior to Revera, Janice held senior investment roles with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s Real Estate and Private Equity groups. Janice is on the board of HLMS Developments, the development arm for Houselink & Mainstay Community Housing, Toronto’s largest non-profit supportive housing provider. Janice received an MBA from Harvard Business School and Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, graduating Cum Laude.

Heidi Tibben,Partner Asset Management at Carttera Management Inc.

In her current role at Carttera, Heidi leads all asset management and leasing operations for the company, engaging and directing property managers, brokers, appraisers, and all required professionals to successfully lease and manage the firm’s portfolio of development and stabilized properties. Prior to joining Carttera, Heidi held senior positions at several Canadian REITs where she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of asset management, including asset strategy, leasing, capital execution, property management, due diligence, and reporting, for industrial, office, retail and student housing products. Heidi holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Management Economics of Industry and Finance from the University of Guelph.

These new additions join current members:

  • Paul Brundage, Senior Advisor, Oxford Properties Group
  • Ira Gluskin, CIO at Irager + Associates Inc,
  • Blake Hutcheson, President and Chief Executive Officer at OMERS
  • Andrew Joyner, Managing Director of Investments at Tricon Residential
  • Jack Winberg, CEO at Rockport Group
  • Fay Wu, Managing Director at NFQ Ventures

and myself and and Geoff Matus, Mandukwe Co-founder of Tricon Capital, Cidel Bank & Trust and NextGen as Committee co-chairs.

Please join me in welcoming Travis, Sherry, Janice and Heidi to the Real Estate Advisory Committee.