Bobby Taubman, chairman, president, and CEO of Taubman Centers, Inc. (NYSE: TCO), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2019 Annual Conference in Los Angeles.
Taubman said that despite the bankruptcy of tenant Forever 21 in 2019, the REIT’s occupancies are in good shape and that it would end the year in the “near 95% range.”
“There’s good demand in our shopping centers,” he said. “Our portfolio seems to be rather healthy.”
Taubman said that luxury retailers have a strong appetite to open stand-alone stores. He also discussed the expansion of digitally native retailers, noting that many are now looking for brick and mortar locations.
“We are seeing a new wave of emerging retailers that are based as digitally native operators,” he said. “They now understand [how good stores can be], and they’re opening very quickly—many, many stores.”
Taubman added that Taubman Centers hopes to close the first phase of its new development in South Korea in mid-2020, noting that the REIT is “delighted to have Blackstone become our partner in our Asian assets.”