Alexander & Baldwin CEO Says REIT Positioned for Future Growth in Hawaii

Chris Benjamin, president and CEO of Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. (NYSE: ALEX), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2019 Annual Conference in Los Angeles.

Benjamin discussed the REIT’s moves to simplify its business model and pointed to a near quadrupling of commercial real estate net operating income from Hawaii operations, “which was a primary goal for us.” At the same time the company has brought all its property management and leasing functions in-house, “really positioning us for future growth in Hawaii,” he added.

According to Benjamin, Alexander & Baldwin won’t be fully accepted as a REIT until “we’re a little bit more simple.” As a result, the REIT is focused on further monetization, particularly of its paving business and some of its residential projects.

Benjamin also said real estate revenue going forward will show continued growth, but it will likely moderate from the 19% gain seen in the third quarter. He added that the REIT will probably be less acquisitive in the next year or so as it focuses on non-core dispositions. The company also expects to be able to use operating partnerships for acquisitions in the future, he said.