Eighteen REITs celebrating their 20th anniversaries of listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) were recognized June 2 in a closing bell ceremony.
The 18 companies celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2014 are: Agree Realty Corp. (NYSE: ADC); AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE: AVB); Mack-Cali Realty Corp. (NYSE: CLI); Duke Realty Corp. (NYSE: DRE); EastGroup Properties, Inc. (NYSE: EGP); Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESS); FelCor Lodging Trust Inc. (NYSE: FCH); First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: FR); Glimcher Realty Trust (NYSE: GRT); Highwoods Properties, Inc. (NYSE: HIW); Home Properties, Inc. (NYSE: HME); Liberty Property Trust (NYSE: LRY); MAA (NYSE: MAA); Macerich (NYSE: MAC); National Retail Properties, Inc. (NYSE: NNN); Realty Income Corp. (NYSE: O); Rayonier (NYSE: RYN); and Aimco (NYSE: AIV).
NAREIT President and CEO Steven A. Wechsler was joined by a number of REIT executives to reflect on how the industry has evolved during the past two decades.
“This is a day to recognize those companies that helped create the critical mass of the modern REIT industry we have today,” Wechsler said. He noted that the industry currently has an equity market capitalization of about $800 billion and controls assets worth more than $1.5 trillion. In addition, REITs now form the ninth-largest industry group in the Standard & Poor’s system, between media and insurance, Wechsler observed.
“REITs are well beyond a niche, they’re an important industry within the equities market in the United States, and increasingly around the world,” Wechsler noted.
Ronald Bohlert, managing director, Global Corporate Client Group, NYSE Euronext, said the REIT industry has been “an avenue for capital creation, job creation, growth, (and) innovation,” which all began with the group of core companies that listed in 1994.
Duke Realty Corp. (NYSE: DRE) chairman and CEO Denny Oklak pointed to the “amazing growth” of the REIT industry, and “the great returns we have provided to our shareholders over that time.”
Michael Glimcher , chairman and CEO of Glimcher Realty Trust (NYSE: GRT), observed that the REIT industry is “so well respected, it’s globally known, returns have been phenomenal, the integrity of the industry has been second to none, and it has allowed the individual as well as the institution to invest in all types of real estate around the globe.”
Home Properties, Inc. (NYSE: HME) president and CEO Edward Pettinella noted that REITs are “serving a great purpose in corporate America.”
Meanwhile, Edward Fritsch, president and CEO of Highwoods Properties, Inc. (NYSE: HIW), highlighted the strength of the REIT industry.
“For them to exhibit the fortitude of getting through the cycles, including the great recession, for REITs to have the resiliency to get through that and learn lessons from that and go forward, I think it’s a testament to the real estate investment trust industry,” he said.