Michael Carroll, CEO of Brixmor Property Group (NYSE: BRX), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2014: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.
Brixmor owns and operates grocery-anchored community and neighborhood shopping centers, with more than 520 properties strategically located across 38 states.
Brixmor aggressively overhauled its portfolio to focus on its core assets. Carroll said the company now feels “very comfortable” with the state of its portfolio at present. He noted that Brixmor has been able to drive growth from its stock of assets.
“As that process continues, we’ll be an ordinary asset manager,” he said. “You’ll see us both adding and subtracting from the portfolio, more of a capital recycling strategy.”
Brixmor has received an investment grade rating from ratings agency Moody’s. The company is also working with the other major ratings agencies, according to Carroll.
“We’d like to continue our evolution towards an unsecured balance sheet and being an unsecured borrower,” he said. “I think this would lead us to be an issuer in that market as we move into 2015.”
Discussing the built-in growth potential of Brixmor’s portfolio, Carroll indicated that the firm has a “reservoir of below-market leases throughout the portfolio.” Some have resulted from the composition of the portfolio, he said, while others were done on a short-term basis surrounding the financial crisis in the late 2000s.
“We’ve been actively harvesting those opportunities,” he said.
Looking ahead, Carroll projected that Brixmor would have a chance to sign some of its expiring leases at significant mark-ups from their existing rates.