Jeff Witherell, CEO of Plymouth Industrial REIT (NYSE American: PLYM), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITweek: 2018 Investor Conference in New York.
Plymouth Industrial REIT held its initial public offering (IPO) in June 2017, and Witherell said the company used the proceeds to pay down some short-term debt, with the majority of the capital going toward new acquisitions. “We [also] did a preferred equity issuance in late October of last year, so between the two offerings, we have in excess of $100 million of proceeds,” he added.
Witherell said the company is interested in acquiring warehouses and distribution space.
“One of the things that we really like is light industrial, light assembly,” he said. “So, properties where people really work in the building—sometimes two shifts or even three shifts. Somewhat mission-critical is something that we really like.”
When asked how he’s able to make Plymouth stand out among the competition, Witherell said the company is fortunate to be in “the right asset class at the right time.”
Upon close examination of the REIT space, “there really aren’t that many industrial REITs that we would consider a peer,” because of the company’s concentration on different geographic markets and class-B focus. In fact, with so much opportunity for industrial REITs, Witherell said Plymouth “almost doesn’t have to stand out.”
Witherell noted that there’s about 15.5 billion square feet of industrial space in the country, valued at about $1 trillion, and public REITs own around 8 percent of that. “It’s a big fragmented market … [and] there’s just not a lot of competition from the public REIT space for what we do.”