06/29/2015 | by
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PREIT CEO Says Demand Growing for Mall REIT's Space

Joseph Coradino, CEO of Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: PEI), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2015: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.

PREIT owns shopping centers in 12 states in the eastern half of the United States. Its assets are concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic region and Philadelphia.

Earlier this year, PREIT completed the acquisition of the Springfield Town Center in Springfield, Va. Coradino underscored the difficulty in acquiring class-A properties and the challenges faced in disposing of lower-productivity malls. PREIT’s focus for the balance of the year will be selling off its lower-productivity malls, according to Coradino.

Coradino also commented on the trends he is seeing among PREIT’s tenant base.

Given that supply has been so constrained in the last few years, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future, PREIT has seen a significant expansion in tenant demand for space, according to Coradino. For example, PREIT recently held 69 meetings in Las Vegas with prospective tenants, he said.

Meanwhile, Coradino discussed the company’s new “PREIT & Meet” initiative, a web-based communication tool that allows potential franchisors and franchisees to connect regarding opportunities at PREIT malls.

“We’ve always seen that many franchise-based companies are interested in assets, but haven’t identified a franchise,” he said. “From our perspective, PREIT & Meet really provides another way for franchisers to identify franchisees and to bring people together with the goal being to populate our properties with more productive tenants.”

Coradino described the new program as “innovative” and said it has been well received by retailers.