Conor Flynn, CEO of Kimco Realty (NYSE: KIM), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek: 2022 Investor Conference in New York on June 7-9.
Flynn commented on Kimco’s merger last year with Weingarten Realty Investors, describing it as “a wonderful deal that came together at the right time for us.” The integration has gone “extraordinarily well,” he said.
As for internal growth opportunities, Flynn said Kimco is seeing “so much net new demand for our space that it really is allowing us to have pricing power.” Kimco has close to $50 million of signed leases that have yet to start flowing to the bottom line, he said.
Kimco’s strategy, Flynn explained, is on entitling the highest and best use of its assets, which for a grocery anchored shopping center is typically adding apartments. So far, Kimco has built 2,000 apartments, while over 4,000 apartments have been entitled. The goal is to get to 12,000 entitled apartments, he added.
Flynn also discussed how Kimco’s tenants are taking an integrative approach when assessing their space needs. He noted that retailers are focusing on the importance of the last mile store, which is “just starting to be part of the logistics chain.”
As for reasons to invest in Kimco today, Flynn pointed to Kimco’s position in the first ring suburbs of the top 20 metro markets, as well as the rise in work from home, which has increased weekly traffic at local shopping centers.