Crombie REIT Announces Retirement of Don Clow, Appointment of Mark Holly as President and Chief Executive Officer

NEW GLASGOW, NS, Feb. 22, 2023 /CNW/ – Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust (“Crombie” or “the REIT”) (TSX: CRR.UN) today announced that following a successful 13.5-year tenure as President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Crombie, Don Clow will retire as CEO on February 28, 2023. Concurrent with Mr. Clow’s decision, the Board of Trustees of Crombie has appointed Mark Holly as President and CEO. Mr. Holly will assume his new role on March 1, 2023, and will also be appointed a Trustee of the REIT.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to Don, who has transformed Crombie from a traditional grocery-anchored retail landlord into a strategic owner and developer of grocery-anchored retail, retail-related industrial, and mixed-use residential properties across Canada,” says Michael Knowlton, Board Chair. “Under Don’s leadership, total Unitholder returns over the last three, five and 10 years have been sector-leading. He leaves the REIT in a far stronger position than when he arrived and has set us up for success as we embark on the next leg of our journey.”

“For almost 14 years, I have had the privilege of serving as Crombie’s President and CEO,” says Don Clow. “In my time at Crombie, I’ve worked with a team of high-performing, caring people who are incredibly dedicated to their work and to the communities in which we operate. Over five years ago, we set an ambitious strategic goal of completing six major development projects, all while maintaining our commitment to a strong balance sheet, optimal portfolio quality, and an enhanced relationship with our strategic partner, Empire. We have succeeded in achieving those goals and it is time for a new leader to set the course for the future. Mark is an incredibly well-rounded and experienced real estate executive. He is a collaborative leader and values the team and culture we have built at Crombie. I look forward to cheering on Crombie’s continued success in the years ahead.”

The changes announced today are a result of an extensive review of senior management roles, structure and succession planning initiated by the Board of Trustees in 2021. As part of this process, the Board of Trustees engaged a leading talent advisory firm to assist in identifying and evaluating CEO succession candidates with extensive real estate experience through which Mr. Holly was identified.

“Mark is a strategic leader with a proven track record of more than 20 years in real estate development, operations and capital management, and we are thrilled to announce that he is joining Crombie as our next President and CEO. He is recognized within the industry as an exceptional communicator, collaborator and relationship builder, and has deep expertise across the entire real estate development cycle,” says Mr. Knowlton. “Mark joins us from Empire, where he led the real estate business and had the opportunity to collaborate closely with the Crombie executive leadership team on a range of successful initiatives that have generated substantial value for both companies. His significant experience leading major development projects at TACC Developments, Tim Hortons, Restaurant Brands International (“RBI”), and Empire will be critical to unlocking substantial value from the REIT’s deep pipeline of 27 development projects, as we continue to deliver on Crombie’s successful strategy of building and owning quality real estate that enhances local communities and generates long term-growth.”

Mark began his career with TACC Developments, where he oversaw commercial and industrial development programs. In 2006, he joined The TDL Group (Tim Hortons) and later RBI, where he led real estate strategy, successfully increasing store count by 50 percent. In 2016, Mark joined Restaurant Development Partners, the area representative and developer of Tim Hortons in Minnesota as President. In 2018, he was appointed Senior Vice President, Real Estate, at Empire and was later promoted to the Empire Executive Committee. During his time at Empire, Mr. Holly developed a transformational real estate strategy, instituted a new capital management committee and governance model and designed Empire’s 10-year execution strategy to achieve the company’s Climate Action Plan targets. He successfully led the real estate team in the acquisition and integration of Farm Boy and Longo’s and worked with Crombie to create a true partnership between the two companies.

“Crombie has an outstanding track record of delivering for its tenants, development partners, employees and Unitholders and I could not be more excited to join this winning team,” says Mark Holly, incoming President and CEO of Crombie. “In my role at Empire over the past five years, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Crombie’s executive team, which has given me a window into the strategy and culture of the organization, and I couldn’t be more optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead of us.”

To support a seamless leadership transition, Mr. Clow will remain as a Strategic Advisor until March 1, 2025.

About Crombie REIT

Crombie invests in real estate that enriches local communities and enables long-term sustainable growth. As one of the country’s leading owners, operators, and developers of quality real estate, Crombie’s portfolio primarily includes grocery-anchored retail, retail-related industrial, and mixed-used residential properties in Canada’s top urban and suburban markets. As at December 31, 2022, our portfolio contains 289 income-producing properties comprising approximately 18.4 million square feet, and a significant pipeline of future development projects. Learn more at

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the current expectations of management of Crombie about Crombie’s future results, performance, achievements, prospects, and opportunities. Wherever possible, words such as “may”, “will”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “intend”, and similar expressions have been used to identify these forward-looking statements. Specifically, this document includes, but is not limited to, forward-looking statements regarding expected timing of management changes and the potential to unlock value in Crombie’s pipeline of development projects. These statements reflect current beliefs and are based on information currently available to management of Crombie. Forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. A number of factors, including those discussed in the 2022 annual Management’s Discussion and Analysis under “Risk Management” and the Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2021 under “Risks”, could cause actual results, performance, achievements, prospects, or opportunities to differ materially from the results discussed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These factors should be considered carefully, and a reader should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that the expectations of management of Crombie will prove to be correct, and Crombie can give no assurance that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements.