Don Wood, president and CEO of Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2016: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge.
Wood discussed Federal Realty’s mixed-use developments. Wood said the company is “thrilled” with its Assembly Row development in Somerville, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. Meanwhile, Federal Realty’s Pike & Rose development in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., is dealing with a soft residential market, according to Wood.
“That’s holding us back a little bit, but it’s short term, and as you think of these types of lifestyle projects and what they do for the community, we couldn’t be more happy,” he said.
Wood also said 2017 will be marked by repositioning within the firm’s core portfolio.
“The consumer is changing, there’s no question about it. For shopping centers to be relevant in 2020 and 2025, I think you’ve got to raise your game and do more than just backfill space,” he said.
As for real estate gaining its own headline sector in the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS), Wood said that while it would likely be disruptive and unpredictable in the short term, it would ultimately result in broader interest in REIT investment.
Wood also shared advice for prospective real estate professionals. He stressed the importance of gaining hands-on experience, wherever it might be in the industry. “The bottom line is, you’ve got to make yourself valuable,” he observed.