Jay Sugarman, chairman and CEO of iStar (NYSE: STAR), joined Nareit in New York for a video interview at REITweek: 2019 Investor Conference.
Sugarman said it has been an exciting time for iStar because the REIT has the opportunity to invest in an “exciting, fast-growing business” at a discount to asset value.
“We made a decision to go all-in on this new business we’ve created—reinventing the ground lease business, reinventing real estate ownership and how it gets capitalized,” Sugarman said.
Sugarman also said that iStar purchased a mile of oceanfront property an hour south of New York in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and that the REIT’s projects there represent the “renaissance of an entire city.” He noted that Asbury Park already had all of its bones in place—a beach, boardwalk, strong architecture, walkability, public transportation, and a music and food scene—and that iStar has been building infrastructure and key hotels around those bones over the past five years.
Sugarman added that the idea of reinventing how people think about deploying capital into real estate creates a way to get better returns with less risk.