01/03/2014 | By Sarah Borchersen-Keto
Lou Haddad, president and CEO of Armada Hoffler Properties (NYSE: AHH), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2013: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.
Founded in 1979 and active in the office, retail and multifamily sectors, Armada Hoffler held an initial public offering (IPO) in May 2013. Haddad was asked about the timing of the IPO, and how it was received by the market.
“Our timing couldn’t have been better. We came last spring, the REIT index was pretty close to an all-time-high, so we kind of rode that wave in and the IPO was wonderfully received,” Haddad said. He added that originally the company expected that interest in the shares would come predominantly from the retail side, but “as it turned out we had nearly half of the offering taken by institutions.”
Haddad also discussed his company’s presence in the Baltimore, Md. metropolitan region, which is a core location for Armada Hoffler.
“We’ve been in the Baltimore area for nearly two decades and we’ve developed a number of good partnerships with really fine people there – developers, tenants and the like. We’re working on a couple of new initiatives there that are really going to expand our footprint in that area in the next couple of years,” he said.
Turning to possible opportunities and challenges for Armada Hoffler in 2014, Haddad replied; “we continue to be really pleased with the amount of development opportunities coming our way, almost on a weekly basis. It’s just a wonderful opportunity to move forward with the company.”
Haddad added, “the concern is really just the flip side of that, and that’s executing quickly on those opportunities. Right now in real estate, with the state of the economy, people are naturally cautious so we’ve got to show the value that we bring that makes these people comfortable in moving forward with us.”
Haddad also dismissed concerns about overbuilding in sectors where the company is active. “I don’t think we’re anywhere close to that being an issue. We work in markets with very high barriers to entry,” he said.