07/02/2013 | By Carisa Chappell
Ben Butcher, president and CEO of STAG Industrial, Inc. (NYSE: STAG), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview in Chicago at REITWeek 2013: NAREIT's Investor Forum.
STAG Industrial focuses on the acquisition, ownership and management of single-tenant industrial properties throughout the United States.
Butcher discussed some of the overall trends in the industrial sector and the company’s robust acquisition activity.
“The industrial economy tends to follow the general economy, so with the gradual improvement in the general economy, we’re seeing an improvement in the industrial economy and leasing. Our tenants are expanding,” he said.
STAG Industrial was busy acquiring properties in 2012 and has been in 2013, too. Butcher said the company is finding opportunities for accretive growth.
“We grew about 70 percent last year on a square-footage basis and we expect to grow at least 25 percent this year,” he said. “The opportunities are there because we do something a little different than the other companies, so we therefore have a little less competition than people that are viewed as peers.”
When it comes to whether or not there are geographic regions that are more favorable to the industrial sector, Butcher said that different regions have different strengths. He said STAG Industrial tends to be “relatively agnostic” when it comes to regions.
“We look for assets that provide good cash flow returns to our investors. Having said that, regions like greater Detroit, with the resurgence of the auto business, have done quite well in the last few years,” he said.