Gil Menna, partner and co-chair of the REITs and real estate M&A practice at Goodwin, participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITworld: 2020 Annual Conference.
Menna discussed the 60th anniversary of the REIT industry and ways in which it has evolved to meet the changing U.S. economy.
“It has met all of the challenges facing it,” Menna said. At the same time, “the public REIT market has provided a wonderful place for people to invest in the real estate asset class.”
Menna also reflected on how the REIT industry has fared during the pandemic, compared with previous exogenous shocks. He noted that a good portion of the REITs indices have been negatively impacted. However, Menna added that “it’s important to note that some aspects of the REIT industry and asset classes were on the precipice and suffering to begin with, and the pandemic is maybe the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
As for possible new REIT asset classes that could emerge, Menna pointed to the likelihood of more infrastructure REITs.
“There will be a need for private capital in infrastructure,” Menna said. REITs are “a perfect example of an investment vehicle that can support infrastructure spending in a unique way,” he added.