Podcast: Jon Wheeler, Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust

Jon Wheeler, chairman and CEO of Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust (NASDAQ: WHLR), discussed his company's business strategy in an interview in the latest edition of the NAREIT Podcast.

Wheeler talked about his firm's focus on secondary and tertiary geographic markets. He said Wheeler REIT has zeroed in on markets where the inhabitants have "available, ready, spendable retail dollars."

Wheeler indicated that the firm's lengthy experience in these smaller markets mitigates concerns about finding investable assets outside the traditional fortresses, such as New York and San Francisco.

"When you get into those markets and you get to know them, and we've been there for a long time now, you know who the players are," he said. "Really, there's not a high level of competition because there is only a certain level of demographics."

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust held its initial public offering in November 2012. The company has seen growth in areas such as market capitalization and gross leasable area. The CEO shared his thoughts on the transition to becoming a stock exchange-listed REIT.

"I would say the biggest challenge is proving publicly what we have done privately for the last 14 years," Wheeler said. "Our model hasn't changed, and our systems and procedures haven't changed, and our due diligence hasn't changed in going from private to public.

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