Seritage CEO Says Leasing Activity Accelerated in 2017

Benjamin Schall, president and CEO of Seritage Growth Properties (NYSEMKT: SRG), joined Nareit for a video interview at REITworld 2017.

Seritage is the real estate spinoff of Sears Holding Corp. It began trading as a public company in 2015.

Schall stated that the company’s leasing activity accelerated in 2017. As a result, Seritage has leased about 4 million square feet during the last two-and-a-half years.

Schall explained that Seritage has generally been able to take existing Sears rental rates of $4 per square foot and boost them to more than $18 a foot with new tenants. The improvements have occurred across a wide breadth of assets in primary and secondary markets, he noted.

Meanwhile, Seritage is also about to launch a series of its premier assets that are expected to achieve even greater rent multiples, according to Schall.

Seritage also continues to build up its redevelopment pipeline, the CEO said. At the end of the third quarter, Seritage had 70 projects either completed or commenced, reflecting about $740 million of capital, Schall noted.

As for Seritage’s most active tenants, Schall said food and beverage facilities account for around 40 percent of the 4 million square feet leased so far. He also highlighted opportunities Seritage is seeing in mixed-use development.