Mark Zalatoris, president and CEO of Inland Real Estate Corp. (NYSE: IRC), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2015: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.
Inland has a heavy presence in the Midwest shopping center market and is particularly active in Chicago and Minneapolis, according to Zalatoris.
“We’ve parlayed that into success in leasing and re-leasing space with strong retailers that want to continue to grow store count in those markets,” Zalatoris said.
He noted that Inland has had positive leasing spreads on new leases for 16 quarters, while occupancy for the last six quarters has been at a level of 95 percent.
“We have to work with the retailers to create space because we just don’t have vacant space available,” Zalatoris noted. To that end, Inland has been actively looking at redeveloping spaces, moving tenants around and downsizing some tenants to bring new ones into bigger spaces, he said.
“It’s an active asset management activity and it’s a lot of fun compared to having to react to bad economic times. These are good economic times for strong retailers that want to be in the markets that we’re in,” Zalatoris observed.
Zalatoris also said that he expects Inland to be a net acquirer of assets by the end of the year, both in terms of assets purchased for its joint venture partners and on the company’s own behalf. Earlier this month, Inland announced that its joint venture with Dutch pension fund administrator PGGM acquired the Eastgate Crossing shopping center, located in Union Township, Ohio, for a purchase price of $21.1 million.
Zalatoris said PGGM has been a strong partner for Inland. Their joint venture portfolio has now reached its maximum size. He added that at this point, he does not envision an additional joint venture: “One sizeable joint venture is probably enough.”