Ernest Rady, president and CEO of American Assets Trust, Inc. (NYSE: AAT), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWeek 2016: NAREIT’s Investor Forum at the Waldorf Astoria New York.
American Assets Trust owns retail, office and residential properties in high-barrier-to-entry markets primarily in Southern California, Northern California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.
Rady described West Coast fundamentals as “excellent.” The population is continuing to grow, the economy is “buoyant,” and the region’s complicated entitlement process limits competition, he added.
Rady noted that American Assets Trust continues to see development as a more attractive opportunity than acquisitions, while the company’s deep-seated experience with development means that it knows how to minimize risk.
“We’re definitely enthusiastic about development on a very limited basis, where the opportunity presents itself,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rady said positive economic fundamentals are enabling the company to implement rent increases across its diversified portfolio.