Alexander & Baldwin Adapting to New REIT Status

Christopher Benjamin

Christopher Benjamin, president and CEO of Alexander & Baldwin, joined Nareit for a video interview at REITworld 2017.

Alexander & Baldwin (NYSEMKT: ALEX) owns, operates and manages 4.8 million square feet of retail, industrial and office space primarily in Hawaii and on the U.S. mainland.

Alexander & Baldwin converted to a REIT at the beginning of 2017. Benjamin explained that historically, a REIT structure had not been an attractive option for the company. However, during the last five years the REIT has narrowed its focus to be more “commercial real estate-centric,” he said. That has involved the sale of many mainland real estate assets and the trimming back of some non-commercial real estate activities.

Following those changes, the REIT structure “made a lot more sense” and has opened the company to a broader range of investors, Benjamin said.

As for future sources of growth, Benjamin said redevelopment opportunities exist within many of the company’s assets. Development opportunities are also present, given that Alexander & Baldwin is the fourth largest land owner in Hawaii, he noted.

Alexander & Baldwin also sees many opportunities to grow through acquisitions, Benjamin said. Typically, the company considers assets in the $25 million to $75 million range, he added.