06/18/2021 | by
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Kite Realty CEO Says Sun Belt Markets, and Beyond, Seeing “Very Strong” Demand

John Kite, chairman and CEO of Kite Realty Group Trust (NYSE: KRG), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek: 2021 Investor Conference.

Operating metrics for Sun Belt open air retail real estate are looking particularly strong, Kite said, with leasing demand in the past three quarters the strongest seen for the past several years. A lot of it is new demand, he noted.

Approximately 80% of Kite’s portfolio is defined as Sun Belt, the CEO said, but even beyond those markets, demand has been strong.

Kite Realty is actively looking to acquire assets. The environment is very competitive, with pricing strong for high-quality assets. The REIT is actively engaged and has a balance sheet that positions the company well to engage, Kite said.

Meanwhile, Kite Realty filed its inaugural GRESB assessment last year. Kite said the company is “really just getting started” on the ESG front in terms of communicating its efforts. He also said the REIT is looking to communicate the message that online retail has a “much more dramatic negative impact” on the environment than physical retail.