04/09/2014 | By Mitch Irzinski
D.J. Belock, senior vice president of finance with Phillips Edison & Company, joined REIT.com for a video interview during REITWise 2014: NAREIT’s Law, Accounting and Finance Conference held in Boca Raton, Fla.
Belock discussed what type of criteria the company’s public, non-traded REIT, Phillips Edison-ARC Shopping Center REIT, looks for in potential acquisitions, as well as which markets are currently most attractive.
“In terms of the specific markets, its great demographics, employment diversity, and population growth,” he said. “We actually tend to focus outside of the top 25 markets. We’re finding that there is similar rent growth, if not better, in some of those markets. And we feel like we can buy at a higher yield than if we were trying to buy in the top 25 markets, so we feel that it is better returns. In terms of the specific acquisitions, we’re focused on buying the dominant grocer in the market. We want to have a portfolio that’s diversified by geography, by grocer, by tenants, lease maturity, things like that. “
Belock also talked about the possibility of a liquidity event for Phillips Edison-ARC Shopping Center REIT.
“Our plan from the beginning has been to achieve liquidity for our shareholders as soon as it makes sense,” he said. “We want to create value for our shareholders, and so at the soonest moment we can do that, that’s what we’ll try to do.”
Belock shared his opinion with regard to how regulations have affected the public, non-listed REIT space.
“We welcome the regulations,” he said. “We think they provide a lot more transparency, and frankly, we’ve been working to be transparent to our existing investors in some of our private closed-end funds and that’s why we partnered with ARC (American Realty Capital), we feel like they’ve been a leader in best practices and transparency in the non-traded REIT space.”