Slate Retail REIT (TSX: SRT.U/SRT.UN)
After the financial crisis, the conventional wisdom was that U.S. retail real estate would be a very tough place to be. Americans struggling with their mortgages would cut back on spending, hurting stores and leaving malls empty.
We saw things a little differently.
Our view was that, against the backdrop of a tepid economy, Americans would continue to rely on neighbourhood shopping centres for daily needs purchases. We started spending a lot of time looking at grocery-anchored malls in large urban markets across the United States. What we found was real value, with properties selling for significantly less than replacement cost and peak value.
We started to acquire assets, largely in one-off transactions, that we know can deliver real value but are overlooked by many large investment platforms. Once we own the malls, we roll up our sleeves and look for ways to increase rents, improve lease terms and drive occupancy.
Today Slate Retail REIT owns over 71 properties totaling more than 8.5 million square feet. Our portfolio in continually in excess of 95 per cent occupancy and our anchor tenants are among the largest grocery retailers in the country.
That's how our vision creates value.