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PREIT CEO Talks Balance Sheet, Acquisitions

06/24/2013 | By Carisa Chappell

Joseph Coradino, CEO of Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: PEI), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview in Chicago at REITWeek 2013: NAREIT’s Investor Forum.

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, founded in 1960, was one of the first equity REITs in the United States. It currently owns 36 enclosed malls and seven shopping centers, primarily in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

Coradino discussed PREIT’s efforts to re-equitize its balance sheet.

“We’ve made tremendous progress on our balance sheet in the past year. We think that positions us well in terms of liquidity for taking advantage of potential opportunities, as well as weathering unforeseen risks that might unfold,” he said.

Coradino also discussed the firm’s acquisition strategy. Earlier this year the company acquired a 430,000-square-foot, six-story property located on the 900 block of Market Street in downtown Philadelphia. Coradino offered some insights into the firm’s mindset towards other markets and acquisitions.

He said the firm concentrates “geographically on markets we understand and are comfortable with.” PREIT also analyzes metrics that are “accretive to its goals,” according to Coradino: “For example, those (properties) that get either at 90 percent or can achieve 90 percent in occupancy, with sales metrics that are either at $400 a square foot or approaching $400 a square foot,” he said.

Additionally, Coradino said that it’s just as important to have locations that are in “solid demographic” markets.  “Capital cities, university markets or military markets are ones that we’ve seen a great deal of success with,” he said.

Coradino also said the commercial real estate industry has recognized that a mall is more than simply a place to shop.

“We really see the property as the center of a community,” he said. “The time-starved consumer is really looking for a convenient shopping trip.”