iStar Remains Immersed in Ground Lease Business

Marcos Alvarado, president and CIO of iStar (NYSE: STAR), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2019 Annual Conference in Los Angeles.

Alvarado said iStar is focused on three initiatives: investing in the ground leasing ecosystem through its company Safehold (NYSE: SAFE); enhancing its credit profile; and simplifying its story.

“iStar is involved in a handful of businesses—structure finance, lending, the net lease business, our development portfolio, and Safehold—and that story is somewhat complicated,” he added.

Alvarado also said that iStar saw the ground lease business as one it could be “great and dominant in,” so the REIT launched it as a separate vehicle in 2017 with a couple hundred million dollars. Today, the business is nearing $3 billion, Alvarado said.

He also said iStar recently did a $675 million bond refinancing, which lowered the REIT’s cost of capital and extended its weighted average maturity.

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