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This REIT Finally Gave Investors a Reason to Be Optimistic

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® and Matthew DiLallo – Nov 6, 2021 at 7:31AM

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We're still a long way from the finish line, but this is a good first step.

Seritage Growth Properties (SRG 0.08%) investors have been waiting for the redevelopment-focused real estate investment trust (REIT) to start executing on its plans to unlock the value of some of its most promising properties. We recently learned that Seritage is starting to open its first "premier" property, and in this Fool Live video clip, recorded on Oct. 22, Fool.com contributors Matt Frankel and Matt DiLallo discuss what it could mean for investors. 

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Matt DiLallo: For a while, they had some ideas of what they were going to do with that. But now we really are starting to see this vision come to play. They want to do these premier destinations. It's just that I love going to these type of shopping centers with my wife. It's just fun because you can go out to eat, you can walk around. They have cool architecture. They're great destinations to just go out and hang out for a day. That's a really nice direction.

But that's not all they're doing, they mentioned life sciences, they're in some good locations for life sciences where they can put those types of offices in triple-net lease properties like some of those parking. They have excess parking, so they can put a restaurant. Then carve that off and sell it off to another triple net lease assets. It's all about creating value. I see it a lot similar to like Howard Hughes is. This is a long-term play in a different structure that are restructure.

In some ways that hinders them because they're not getting the investors. Lot of REIT investors really want that dividend and they're not going to get that for a while because it's not just making the cash flow for that. But it's just got this unlocking the value of the land. I think there's just so much similarities between these two companies of how they are unlocking the value of the land. With Howard Hughes, they are turning these into these big housing megaprojects. With Seritage, it's all about retail.

There's still a lot of questions like, what's the future of retail like? But they are looking at it the right way, with where I always want to go out to eat in restaurants. I know the pandemic hurt that, but that is just an American thing, so that's the right type of retail experiential type things. They're putting in the right type of things that will be there as a future retail as opposed to things like e-commerce can disrupt. I like the direction and I'm really interested to see if they can actually turn this real estate into actual value for shareholders.

Matt Frankel: Let me share that just one more time to show what you're talking about. You mentioned the land value. I don't know what 13 acres that close to the beach in San Diego is worth, but it's got to be up there. The vacant land here, these parking spaces you see all the cars there. They're planning on turning a substantial amount of that space into specifically for this one, office and residential properties. They put adding densification to the states.

The Sears building you are seeing is where the new restaurant just opened and where all these other tenants are going to open within the next year. But something that they could do is, for example, build say, a five-level parking garage at a corner of that parking lot and use the rest of the space for residential and office development. There's a lot of things you can do with 13 acres in San Diego in that type of premier location.

Matthew Frankel, CFP® owns shares of Seritage Growth Properties (Class A) and The Howard Hughes Corporation. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends The Howard Hughes Corporation. The Motley Fool recommends Seritage Growth Properties (Class A). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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