John Kessler, president and COO of Empire State Realty Trust (NYSE: ESRT), joined Nareit in New York for a video interview at REITweek: 2019 Investor Conference.
Kessler said redevelopment is core to Empire State’s strategy. He said that, in total, the REIT owns 10 million square feet and has redeveloped 7.4 million square feet to date.
“We’re an internal growth-driven business, and we’ve been steadily redeveloping our portfolio since before the time we went public [in 2013],” Kessler said. The redevelopment has led to 5.5% net effective rent growth over the past year, he added.
Kessler said Empire State has simplified its lease form to shorten the time, effort, and expense that it takes to negotiate a lease. As a result, the REIT has been able to reduce the total lease negotiation time from 50 days down to 40 days.
Kessler also said that Empire State has been focused on making its buildings more energy efficient for years, and completed a “whole building energy retrofit” for the Empire State Building in 2011.