Paul Layne, CEO of The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2019 Annual Conference in Los Angeles.
Layne was recently named CEO as part of a broad realignment of strategy at Howard Hughes. He explained that the changes include trimming $50 million from general and administrative (G&A) expenses, selling $2 billion of assets, and expanding the company’s decentralized approach. The latter step will enable the REIT’s five regional presidents “to be empowered to act more nimbly, efficiently, and more frugally,” he said.
Master planned communities are a core element of the Howard Hughes strategy. Layne noted that the approach enables Howard Hughes to “make most of the decisions in the way development is done, in a very positive way for the community.”
Meanwhile, Layne noted that more than half of the planned $2 billion of planned non-core asset sales over the next 12-18 months is represented by one asset in downtown Chicago. He added that the company plans to redeploy $600 million of net proceeds from the sale back into master planned communities.