Jay Sugarman, chairman and CEO of iStar Inc. (NYSE: STAR), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek: Virtual Investor Conference (held June 2-4).
Safehold Inc. now represents iStar’s largest investment, Sugarman said. He noted that since last year, Safehold has closed nearly $2 billion of ground leases with some of the largest owners of buildings in the United States.
In the past 12 months, iStar has also strengthened its balance sheet, boosted equity, and reduced its legacy portfolio, Sugarman said.
Meanwhile, Sugarman pointed out that iStar has an adjusted book value, including the market value of Safehold, of “well north of $20 per share, and the stock has been trading south of $10 per share, so we think there’s a pretty big disconnect.” He stressed the need to educate the investment community about Safehold, its value, and its potential.
“What we really need people to do is to understand that the upside of Safehold and our ground lease focus more than outweighs any impact from COVID on some of our more historic assets,” Sugarman said.