Stephen Lebovitz, president and CEO of CBL Properties (NYSE: CBL), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2018 Annual Conference in San Francisco.
Lebovitz discussed the short and long-term effect of the previously-announced Sears bankruptcy on CBL.
Lebovitz also commented on CBL’s plans to reduce its dividend payment for 2019.
“Redevelopment requires capital and the dividend is the best source of capital that we have,” Lebovitz said. By reducing the dividend from 80 cents to 30 cents, CBL has generated $100 million of additional free cash flow which can be reinvested, or used to pay down debt, he said. “It’s not the ideal first choice but given our circumstances it was the right thing to do for our company …it positions us for better long-term growth going forward.”
Meanwhile, Lebovitz said mixed-use development is becoming increasingly common at malls. “It is going to change the nature of malls and make them more relevant going forward,” he said.