Chris Benjamin, president and CEO of Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. (NYSE: ALEX), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek: 2022 Investor Conference in New York on June 7-9.
Benjamin said that the culture, location, and weather of Hawaii, among other aspects, make it a unique place for Alexander & Baldwin to do business.
“One of the reasons that we’ve decided to focus on Hawaii entirely is because we’ve been there 150 years,” Benjamin said. “We know the local preferences and we have relationships there.”
He added that knowing the state so well benefits the REIT in deciding what to build, as well as knowing how to build it, acquire entitlements, and ultimately work with tenants.
“I think that local presence and local history gives us a unique advantage in Hawaii,” Benjamin added.
Benjamin said that Alexander & Baldwin had a “great first quarter,” with same store NOI up 17% and core FFO per share up 38%, both as a result of how well the REIT’s tenants are doing.
“We had about a $2 million collection of reserved rent that we didn’t expect to collect,” he said. “It’s a result of the Hawaii economy coming back strong.”
Benjamin added that now that Alexander & Baldwin has completed its simplification by selling off all of its non-core businesses, it has the balance sheet to support growth for its tenants.