Experiential Real Estate Pays Off for EPR

By Ian Ritter

It’s no secret that brick-and-mortar retail tenants are having problems these days with the closing of several Macy’s stores, Forever 21 and other numerous large chains.

But one segment of the space that seems to be what many in the retail real estate industry term as “Amazon proof” are tenants that bring shoppers in for an experience and not just a simple transaction.

From a landlord standpoint, at least, the strategy seems to be working for Kansas City-based EPR Properties, which just reported its 2019 financial results and saw year-over-year revenues rise from just under $640 million in 2018, to $652 million. It’s portfolio of 19.2 million square feet is also 99-percent leased.

It’s fiscal results come after the November sale by EPR of its 47-property charter-school portfolio. Now management says it can focus on its core assets, which include 179 theater properties, 55 “eat and play” assets and seven fitness facilities, many of which can be found in our near shopping centers. EPR also owns 13 ski properties, a gaming asset and six experiential lodging facilities, among other assets.

““The sale of our public charter school portfolio marked a milestone in refocusing our growth on experiential real estate, which allows us to capitalize on both our extensive history in this sector and the trend of increasing consumer experiential spending,” said CEO Greg Silvers, in a press release.

The company’s guidance for 2020 is to invest roughly $1.8 billion in its experiential real estate portfolio.