03/25/2016 | by

The day-to-day realities of managing a modern business—things like finance, branding and technological disruption—sometimes take attention away from the fundamental purposes that companies serve for their customers. Automakers construct the cars that take people where they want to go. Pharmaceutical companies manufacture the drugs that help keep us healthy.

At their core, REITs provide the spaces for their tenants to thrive. Tour a REIT-owned apartment complex, resort hotel or office building, and you’ll see tangible proof of that objective in action.

On an even broader scale, REITs can play a role in helping entire communities flourish.

This issue of REIT magazine features the debut of “REITs: Reshaping Communities for the Better.” The new series will include complementary magazine articles and web videos on REIT.com that detail how REITs’ development and redevelopment projects contribute to the economic and social growth of neighborhoods and locales around the country.

The first project in the spotlight is The Yards, a mixed-use development owned by Forest City Realty Trust (NYSE: FCE.A). The emergence of The Yards from what were essentially 48 acres of abandoned Navy industrial facilities on the waterfront of the Anacostia River has had a hand in helping to revitalize southeastern Washington, D.C.

For projects of this scale, a seamless transition from enervated to invigorated takes the kind of ingenuity, planning and foresight that have come to define publicly traded REITs. In addition to best-in-class management teams and top-notch development platforms, REITs have ready access to the capital markets to fund ambitious, community-enhancing projects.

In fact, The Yards is just one of many examples of transformative development being done by REITs. From rehabbing dilapidated factories to building state-of-the-art data centers, REITs are partnering with communities to give them new life. NAREIT looks forward to sharing more of these stories in the future.

Ed Fritsch
President & CEO, 
Highwoods Properties, Inc.

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