Willing Biddle, president and CEO of Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc. (NYSE: UBA), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITweek: 2018 Investor Conference in New York.
Biddle highlighted the company’s strategy to focus on grocery-anchored shopping centers around New York City. Urstadt Biddle’s portfolio also includes smaller retail infill properties and shopping centers located next to regional malls.
Urstadt Biddle’s portfolio is currently about 84 percent grocery-anchored. “I’d like to probably see it be 90 percent,” Biddle said.
Biddle also commented on the recent acquisition of the Tanglewood Shopping Center, located in Yonkers, New York. It took Urstadt Biddle 17 years to acquire the property, which reflects the difficulty of finding suitable, off-market assets, he said.
“We have to go directly to the sellers and try and convince them to sell to us. It’s a long process but that’s the kind of property that we like,” Biddle said.
Meanwhile, Biddle said the REIT’s dividends to funds from operations (FFO) ratio has fallen to about 77 percent. “All the leasing activity we have should continue to drive that down. I look at that as the cushion we have to increase the dividend,” he added.