The sale of roughly half of PREIT’s (NYSE: PEI) portfolio of shopping malls, combined with the replacement of unproductive department stores with better performing assets, positions the company well for the future and makes a compelling case for investors, says Chairman and CEO Joe Coradino.
Speaking on the Nareit REIT Report, Coradino also commented on how PREIT is evolving its properties into community hubs.
“With assets in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. that are well located, and with opportunities to do upwards of 4,000 apartments, [as well as] medical facilities and life sciences technology, our ability to attract either buyers or joint venture partners is pretty profound. It gives us a way to harvest capital and create value in these properties,” Coradino said.
As for the general state of the retail sector, Coradino noted that traffic continues to be strong while sales are still outperforming last year.
“The consumer has really shifted their dollars to experiences—dining, entertainment, fitness—all of which is consistent with the kind of new mall tenancy that we've curated throughout our portfolio,” he said. “We’ve adapted to the times.”
Coradino noted that the basket of potential uses that one thinks about for a mall is a lot broader than it was, even just pre-COVID. He also pointed to the introduction of local and regional retailers and digitally native brands coming into the mall environment, which is driving tenancy and making the property a unique part of the community.