Michael Gamzon, president & CEO of INDUS Realty Trust, Inc., (Nasdaq: INDT) participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2022 Annual Conference held in San Francisco on Nov. 15-17.
Gamzon gave an update on operating fundamentals at INDUS. “We’re really seeing good strength in almost all our markets…leasing demand remains really strong and rents continue to push.”
In Charleston, South Carolina and Orlando in particular, “we’re seeing really good strength,” Gamzon said. He noted that Charleston’s market is being driven by port demand, while Orlando is benefitting from population growth and tourism.
While the REIT is prepared for any slowdown in the market, “we think there’s really good tailwinds on the industrial sector that can hopefully offset the macros,” Gamzon said.
Turning to construction challenges, Gamzon noted that they have occurred on the front end with permitting and approvals as municipalities have struggled with staffing. Availability of certain materials has also been an issue, as has cost. “We are starting to see some relief,” Gamzon said, as structural steel prices are coming down, and petroleum-related products are expected to have peaked.
Meanwhile, Gamzon said the opportunity set for land purchases and other acquisitions is “really good. We typically like to play offense when others are playing defense.” He noted that rising debt costs are causing owners to reconsider their assets and underlying cash flow. “We think it will be a really good opportunity to grow and acquire assets.”