Lisa Palmer, president and CEO of Regency Centers Corp. (Nasdaq: REG) and Nareit 2023 chair, participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2022 Annual Conference held in San Francisco on Nov. 15-17.
Palmer discussed being named Nareit’s 2023 chair and her goals for the year ahead.
“Lots of progress was made with Nareit and achieving our goals [under recent former chairs Marguerite Nader (Equity Lifestyle Properties) and Jim Risoleo (Host Hotels)] and establishing such a great reputation and presence on Capitol Hill,” Palmer said. “We need to continue that momentum, especially with new policymakers coming into office.”
Palmer added that through her chair role, she’s energized to help REITs work on their ESG journeys, especially their DEI goals.
“I’m really looking forward to helping Nareit and our whole industry make that progress, with a final goal really of being a more equitable, inclusive, diverse industry,” Palmer said.
Turning to capital allocation, Palmer said that Regency is approaching any incremental investment opportunities “really carefully.”
“The fortunate side for Regency [is that] we generate $130 million plus of free cash flow…so we can use that and invest it primarily into our value creation development pipeline,” she added.
Palmer also discussed some trends caused by the pandemic that are “here to stay” and benefit Regency’s shopping centers, including the micro-migration from the city core to first-ring suburbs and more remote work.
Palmer noted that one of Regency’s foundational strategies is “embodied responsibility,” which led in part to the REIT’s recent SBTi endorsed greenhouse gas emission target.