Liberty Property Trust Designs Industrial Properties for Future Flexibility

Bill Hankowsky, chairman, president, and CEO of Liberty Property Trust (NYSE: LPT), joined Nareit in New York for a video interview at REITweek: 2019 Investor Conference.

Hankowsky said that Liberty made a weighty strategic decision in 2018 when it announced a plan to sell its remaining office properties and devote its resources solely to industrial real estate.

“If you go back, we were two-thirds office and one-third industrial. We’ve been rebalancing the portfolio,” he said. “We [now] have 103 million square feet of industrial real estate, so one of the largest portfolios in the country.”

Hankowsky added that industrial real estate is “as competitive as ever,” noting that cap rates have gone down in the sector every year for the last five years.

He also said that Liberty designs its industrial properties so that they are flexible for future needs, including considering floor load capacity and ceiling heights, and including more land around buildings for both people and parking.

“When that five-year lease is up, or that 10-year lease is up, whatever the need of tomorrow’s customer is, this building can meet it,” Hankowsky said.