A planned joint venture between U.S. retail REIT Tanger Factory Outlet Centers and Canadian RioCan REIT will seek to capitalize on two major trends among North American real estate developers: the increasing popularity of outlet centers and the push to expand internationally.

The venture, if successful, might also become an instrument facilitating U.S. retailer expansion into Canada, industry sources say.

On Jan. 24, RioCan and Tanger, a Greensboro, N.C.-based outlet center developer, announced they signed a letter of intent to form an exclusive joint venture to allow the firms to lease, develop and redevelop outlet centers in major Canadian cities.

The firms plan to split the partnership on a 50/50 basis, with RioCan picking up development and property management responsibilities, while Tanger will be responsible for leasing and marketing. The centers will likely closely mirror existing Tanger properties in the U.S., especially the more recent developments in North Carolina, according to a Tanger spokesperson.

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