John Kite, chairman and CEO of Kite Realty Group Trust (NYSE: KRG), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek: 2022 Investor Conference in New York on June 7-9.
Kite said that 2022 is off to “a great start” for Kite Realty after a positive first quarter and with continuing strong retail demand.
He also said that the easy access and visibility of open-air shopping centers and mixed-use assets during the pandemic have led to a permanent, positive shift for the sector.
“The pandemic, in kind of an odd way, was favorable to the open-air shopping center space, and it drew a lot of people into the business, and we were able to operate the assets a little more efficiently,” Kite said.
Turning to the company’s commitment to sustainability, Kite said that more than half of Kite Realty’s portfolio now has LED lighting, the REIT has planted 14,000 trees in the past two years, and it is also focused on water management projects.
“For every lease that we sign, we’re planting 100 trees,” he added. “We have…a lot more opportunity to really be focused on lowering greenhouse gases in our portfolio.”