PREIT's New CEO Focuses on Leverage Reduction

The new CEO of Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: PREIT) says reducing the shopping center REIT's leverage is one of his primary goals.

"I think my priorities are fairly straightforward. We are focusing on the reduction of leverage below 60 percent," he said in an interview with REIT.com in New York at REITWeek 2012: NAREIT's Investor Forum.

Coradino said he is also focusing on building the company's operational performance and driving inline occupancy above 90 percent. He explained that PREIT is continuing to incorporate a mix of uses at its properties.

While the role of CEO is new to Coradino, he has an extensive past with the company having served in a variety of executive positions with PREIT and its predecessor, PREIT-Rubin, since 1998.

He said that experience has helped him gain footing in his recent position overseeing the company.

"I think it's helped me in a couple of ways. One is that I really know the organization intimately, so it's provided me with an opportunity to hit the ground running," he said. "I have a fresh approach and believe we have a quality group of people with a great deal of runway in front of us."

Coradino's predecessor, Ronald Rubin, will remain in place as executive chairman. Coradino said he will be a helpful resource and is available for counsel and to offer advice periodically.

"The transition has been fantastic," he said. "We've worked together for a long time and he has been very helpful in the transition."

Coradino pointed out that one of the pieces of advice that Rubin gave him was to use his relationship building skills and knowledge of the business to grow the company.