Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. (NASDAQ:ROIC) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript
Apr 26, 2018 • 09:00 am ET
Welcome to the Retail Opportunity Investments 2018 First Quarter Conference Call. Participants are currently in a listen-only mode. Following the company's prepared comments the call will be opened up for questions. Please note that certain matters discussed in this call today constitute forward looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities law. Although the company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions. The company can give no assurance that these expectations will be achieved. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements and expectations. Information regarding such factors is described in the company's filings with the securities and exchange commission including its most recent annual report on Form 10-K. Participants are encouraged to refer to the company's filings with the SEC regarding such risk factors as well for more information regarding the company's financial and operational results. The company's filings can be found on this website. Now I would like to introduce Stuart Tanz, the company's Chief Executive Officer.
Good morning, everyone. Here with me today is Michael Haynes, our Chief Financial Officer; and Rick Schoebel, our Chief Operating Officer.
As 2018 gets fully underway, we are pleased to report that the company is off to another solid start. Demand for space across our portfolio in core markets continues to be strong. While the first quarter of each year's typically relatively quiet on the leaf in front following the holiday season that has not been the case for us this year. In fact, it's been the most active first quarter on record for ROIC. We leased over 400,000 square feet driven in part by tenants proactively coming to us to renew their leases, well ahead of their lease explorations. In terms of new leases, we continued to not only achieve solid rent increases overall, but we're also making the most of the broad demand carefully select the best retailers based on their financial strength and their ability to consistently draw daily customers as well as the right fit at each center in terms of retailer mix. Rich will go through the details in a minute, but it's safe to say that we're off to an excellent start in 2018.
With respect to acquisitions, as we commented on our last call, given the volatility in the market, we are being cautious in this environment and that prudently slowed our activity for the time being. With that in mind, as previously announced, we only accord one shopping center in the first quarter of property located in the Seattle market, which continues to be one of the hottest markets in the country. In fact, the state of Washington was recently ranked as having the best state economy in the country with the ongoing pet boom in Seattle leading the way.
The shopping center that we acquired is located in Tacoma, which is a