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John Moragne, CEO of Broadstone Net Lease, Inc.(NYSE: BNL), participated in a video interview during Nareit’s REITworld: 2023 Annual Conference held Nov. 14-16 in Los Angeles.

Moragne said that although 2023 was a difficult year for the net lease REIT space, he is proud that Broadstone focused on operational expertise, a flexible, fortified balance sheet, and having a solid portfolio performance.

“There’s not a lot that we can control relative to interest rates and what’s happening in the broader macro environment, but with a solid portfolio and a really good, conservative strategy, [we were] able to be disciplined and selective in execution [last year],” he said.

Moragne added that one of the biggest shifts the company has seen in the past five years or so has been a much heavier focus on the industrial sector, noting that Broadstone’s industrial rents have jumped from 31% to 51% in that timeframe.

“That’s been an intentional, strategic shift for us,” he said. “There’s a lot that we like in the industrial space in terms of the fundamentals of the real estate, the industries that our tenants are in, the fundamentals with credit that we have, as well as the opportunity to expand those relationships.”

Moragne added that Broadstone also had opportunities in 2023 in development financing, and as a result, has a $200 million-plus industrial project in Florida that it is funding and looking to bring online in 2024.