11/27/2012 | By Matthew Bechard
John Kilroy, president and CEO of Kilroy Realty Corp. (NYSE: KRC), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2012: NAREIT's Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.
Kilroy Realty has operated in West Coast commercial real estate markets for more than six decades. The firm operates a portfolio of high quality commercial properties totaling more than 15 million square feet that span coastal market locations from Seattle to San Diego. The company has a broadly diversified roster of industries, including firms specializing in technology, telecommunications, engineering, entertainment, healthcare, biotechnology and professional services. Kilroy Realty has its headquarters in Los Angeles and became a publicly traded REIT in 1997.
Kilroy offered some insight into his company's sale of its portfolio of industrial assets.
"A couple years ago when the downturn hit, we knew there would be terrific opportunities up and down the West Coast. We had largely been Southern California-based, and we really saw an opportunity when the market fell apart to reposition ourselves and take advantage of being the premier West Coast player," Kilroy said. "The industrial just didn't fit into that, because we're primarily office. We have since become the largest REIT on the West Coast. We have the dominant footprint from Seattle to San Diego. It's almost all office."
Kilroy discussed the market fundamentals in the office market.
"What we're seeing is extremely strong employment growth in the coastal markets of California and in the Bay Area, particularly. Seattle is another terrific market for job growth," he said. "The commonality that these markets have is that we're in a significant amount of technology and media—companies that are producing goods that America sells around the globe and are very profitable. Those folks are hiring, and we tend to be a leader in most of those markets, so we feel pretty comfortable with where things are now."