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REITWorld Day 2

Dallas-Ft. Worth
REITWorld Day 2
David Simon
At Day 2 of REITWorld at NYC's Waldorf-Astoria, our DC reporter snapped this of David Simon, CEO of the largest REIT and crowd favorite Simon Property Group. David  says that outlet centers aside (a Simon strong suit) new development of full-price retail space won't start before 2013 or '14 (so delivery in 2015 or '16), but that retailers get that and are willing to focus on existing assets. Simon's FFO (a key measure of REIT performance) per share was 5 cents higher than Q3 '09, and consolidated revenue (cash flow from subsidiaries)grew $54M. Here's some closer-to-home good news: Simon tenants reported a 10.6% increase in sales.
Larry Gellerstedt and Jim Fleming
Cousins Properties is playing defense, says CEO Larry Gellerstedt, here with CFO Jim Fleming. The diversified company, a big developer, is instead pushing leasing (though it also acquires),selling non-core assets, and generating fees (management for institutional owners and client services). Exception: In Georgia and Texas it will acquire distressed properties, like Atlanta's 50-story 191 Peachtree, which rose from 20% to 50% occupied. Cousins also wants to stabilize its industrial assets and exit that sector (it raised occupancy in its 2M SF in Atlanta and Dallas from 14% to 90%). But no fire sales are in order, Larry says. Like other REITs, Cousins has spent the last year deleveraging, and has slimmed down from 75% leverage in June '09 to 38% today. If only all of us could drop weight like that.