Among our organizational strengths are the quality and dedication of our management team, and the attitude of our people that we must never rest on our laurels but, rather, constantly focus on the future and what we can achieve together.
We challenge our organization to be creative in all of our development and redevelopment activities, and are continually delighted with just imaginative and effective our team members can be.
One of the foundations of our organizations is our conservative and consistent philosophy relative to the manner in which we finance our business and allocate our capital. We are disciplined in allocating our capital only to those opportunities we determine have an appropriate risk-adjusted return. Our internal review process is thorough and involves substantial input from the primary disciplines of leasing, development, marketing and management. This process, and the restraint required, has helped to ensure an unblemished track record and allowed us to develop new projects, expand existing assets and acquire properties that have met or exceed our criteria.
We seek growth in our earnings and cash flows by enhancing the profitability and operation of our properties and investments through the following:
- Focusing on leasing to increase revenues and utilizing economies of scale to reduce operating expenses,
- Expanding and re-tenanting existing locations at competitive market rates.
- Adding mixed-use elements to our portfolio through our asset intensification initiatives, and
- Acquiring high quality real estate assets.
The operation of our retail portfolio is driven by a simple philosophy: to make each of our properties the most compelling and best place to shop that it can be. We focus constantly enhancing the shopping environment for our customers and our retail partners through our management, marketing, leasing and development efforts, and consistently look to develop initiatives that are designed to provide a more hospitable and sophisticated shopping environment. Our marketing efforts continue to enhance the strength of our portfolio, as demonstrated by increases in sale, visits and time spent at our retail properties.
In the leasing of our commercial properties we are driven to continually upgrade the quality of our tenants and to accommodate the new retailers who are constantly seeking space in our properties. This continual upgrading of our tenant base has increased our market share and sales per square foot. Demand for space in our properties is strong. This tenant demand is driven by a number of factors including new ideas introduced by our existing tenants, vendors seeking new customer distribution channels for their goods, new retail concepts and expansion demands from our existing tenants.
Our commercial leasing team is expected to make the best long-term business decision for each and lease in our portfolio, and consistently look to upgrade our tenant mix and grow our NOI. We are diligent in evaluating the economics and the selections surrounding these decisions.
In our development activities, we strengthen our existing properties through the addition of anchors and small shop space and intensify our assets with the addition of mixed-use components such as multi-family residential and office to create compelling centers. Some of our national tenants include Publix, CVS, McDonald’s, GNC, Pet Supermarket, Allstate, H&R, Block and sally Beauty Supply, amongst others.
For over four decades now, we have enjoyed consistent growth in our chosen markets. By providing quality services to our residential and commercial tenants, assembling a team of highly talented and ambitious professionals, and educating ourselves to a consistent and proven management style, we have developed a business philosophy that consistently sets us apart from our competitors:
- Apartments have a more predictable value do most businesses and other real estate asset classes, including office buildings.
- We own and operate retail centers that will always remain appealing to neighborhood otherwise affected by changes in technology. Further, our strong presence in choices areas has actually enabled us to control development patterns.
- The acquisition of various multi-family properties in a single area gives us demographic advantage. The ownership of contiguous parcels enables us to create new economic trends and influence the demographic environment, defying uncontrollable and unstable effects.
- Residential properties add a balance to our commercial assets.
- A heavy concentration in older, established neighborhood, where the potential of new construction is prohibitive. We invest in older properties in better locations where land value is a much higher percent of total value than is the case with newer properties, as we like the idea that a significant portion of our investment is in land that is appreciating.
- Increased land values, over time, create important opportunities for redeveloping or upgrading the existing structures, and for re-entitling the land and constructing wholly new structures. As our portfolio has matured, we have found ourselves with a number of such opportunities.
- Redevelopment is an excellent way to make money by correcting obsolescence, extending useful lives, increasing average rents, reducing operating expenses and generating returns on cost which create significant net asset value and produce impressive returns on equity. We also look for the potential to pursue opportunities to increase the uses permitted by local government for the land we already own.
- Operations remain local. Florida and Massachusetts each have unique needs and specialized, hands-on staff responsible for each locale able to respond quickly and efficiently to matters needing attention.
- The quality of our properties comes first. We have a reserve budget for capital replacements and repair. Carpets, appliances, upgrades, roof replacements, exterior painting, and improved landscaping are handled in a timely manner. In developing or expanding a property, we capitalizer our costs, including any allocated interest expenses, as a part of the cost of the property.
- Profitability flows with the business cycle. High fixed costs create risk in economic downturns. We keep significant credit lines and a cash cushion to absorb fluctuations in the marketplace, as well as to fund new investments and development.
- Leverage magnifies financial returns. Generally, we use debt that is long-term, fixed-rate, and self-amortizing as well as revolving lines of credit. We limit overall debt leverage so that cash flow is at least equal to three times interest expenses. This approach provides us with an appropriate balance between risk and return, with a strong cash position to capture and re-invest in new, prime income-generating property opportunities that arise in the marketplace.
Our portfolio of high-quality, highly productive real estate assets and strong balance sheet position us well for a profitable future, as we continue execute a multi-faceted growth strategy.
James H. Batmasian
Marta T. Batmasian