Kite Realty Group Trust 10-K 2012
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Kite Realty Group Trust
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined by Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 of Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of Registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act) Yes o No x
The aggregate market value of the voting shares held by non-affiliates of the Registrant as the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed second quarter was $291 million based upon the closing price of $4.98 per share on the New York Stock Exchange on such date.
The number of Common Shares outstanding as of February 24, 2012 was 63,622,095 ($.01 par value).
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Portions of the Proxy Statement relating to the Registrant’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, scheduled to be held on May 9, 2012, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, are incorporated by reference into Part III, Items 10-14 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K as indicated herein.
KITE REALTY GROUP TRUST
Annual Report on Form 10-K
For the Fiscal Year Ended
December 31, 2011
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Unless the context suggests otherwise, references to “we,” “us,” “our” or the “Company” refer to Kite Realty Group Trust and our business and operations conducted through our directly or indirectly owned subsidiaries, including Kite Realty Group, L.P., our operating partnership (the “Operating Partnership”). References to “Kite Property Group” or the “Predecessor” mean our predecessor businesses.
Kite Realty Group Trust is a full-service, vertically integrated real estate company engaged in the development, construction, acquisition, ownership, and operation of high-quality neighborhood and community shopping centers in selected markets in the United States.
We conduct all of our business through our Operating Partnership, of which we are the sole general partner. As of December 31, 2011, we held an 89% interest in our Operating Partnership with limited partners owning the remaining 11%.
As of December 31, 2011, we owned interests in a portfolio of 54 retail operating properties totaling approximately 8.4 million square feet of gross leasable area (including approximately 2.9 million square feet of non-owned anchor space) located in nine states. Our retail operating portfolio was 93.3% leased to a diversified retail tenant base, with no single retail tenant accounting for more than 2.9% of our total annualized base rent. In the aggregate, our largest 25 tenants accounted for 38.1% of our annualized base rent. See Item 2, “Properties” for a list of our top 25 tenants by annualized base rent.
We also own interests in four commercial (office/industrial) operating properties totaling approximately 0.6 million square feet of net rentable area, all located in the state of Indiana. The leased percentage of our commercial operating portfolio was 93.3% as of December 31, 2011.
As of December 31, 2011, we also had an interest in five in-process development or redevelopment retail projects. Upon completion, these projects are anticipated to have approximately 0.8 million square feet of gross leasable area (including approximately 0.2 million square feet of non-owned anchor space). In addition to our in-process developments and redevelopments, we have future developments, which include land parcels that are undergoing pre-development activities and are in various stages of preparation for construction to commence, including pre-leasing activity and negotiations for third-party financings. As of December 31, 2011, these future developments consisted of three projects that are expected to contain 2.0 million square feet of total gross leasable area (including non-owned anchor space) upon completion.
In addition, as of December 31, 2011, we owned interests in various land parcels totaling approximately 101 acres. These parcels are classified as “Land held for development” in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets and are expected to be used for future expansion of existing properties, development of new retail or commercial properties or sold to third parties.
Significant 2011 Activities
Financing and Capital Raising Activities. As discussed in more detail below in “Business Objectives and Strategies,” our primary business objectives are to generate increasing cash flow, achieve long-term growth and maximize shareholder value primarily through the operation, acquisition, development and redevelopment of well-located community and neighborhood shopping centers. In 2011, one of our primary objectives was the cost effective and opportunistic strengthening of our balance sheet to allow access to various sources of capital to fund our future commitments. We endeavor in 2012 to continue improving our key financial ratios including our debt to EBITDA ratio. We ended the year 2011 with approximately $38 million of combined cash and borrowing capacity on our unsecured revolving credit facility and Fishers Station revolving line of credit. We will remain focused on 2012 financing activity and will continue to aggressively manage our operating portfolio and development pipeline.
During 2011, we successfully completed various financing, refinancing and capital-raising activities including the following significant activities:
Unsecured Revolving Credit Facility
2011 Development and Redevelopment Activities
As of December 31, 2011, we had five in-process development or redevelopment projects consisting of the following:
2011 Cash Distributions
In 2011, we declared quarterly cash distributions of $0.06 per common share with respect to each of the four quarters. We also declared quarterly cash distributions of $0.515625 per Series A preferred share with respect to each of the four quarters.
Business Objectives and Strategies
Our primary business objectives are to increase the cash flow and build or realize capital appreciation of our properties, achieve sustainable long-term growth and maximize shareholder value primarily through the operation, development, redevelopment and select acquisition of well-located community and neighborhood shopping centers. We invest in properties where cost effective renovation and expansion programs, combined with effective leasing and management strategies, can combine to improve the long-term values and economic returns of our properties. The Company believes that certain of its properties represent opportunities for future renovation and expansion.
We seek to implement our business objectives through the following strategies, each of which is more completely described in the sections that follow:
Operating Strategy. Our primary operating strategy is to maximize revenue and maintain or increase occupancy levels by attracting and retaining a strong and diverse tenant base. Most of our properties are located in regional and neighborhood trade areas with attractive demographics, which has allowed us to maintain and, in some cases, increase occupancy and rental rates. We seek to implement our operating strategy by, among other things:
We employed our operating strategy in 2011 in a number of ways, including increasing our total leased percentage from 92.5% at December 31, 2010 to 93.3% at December 31, 2011, through the signing of over 490,000 square feet of new leases in 2011. We have also been successful in maintaining a diverse retail tenant mix with no tenant accounting for more than 2.9% of our annualized base rent. See Item 2, “Properties” for a list of our top tenants by gross leasable area and annualized base rent.
Growth Strategy. Our growth strategy includes the selective deployment of resources to projects that are expected to generate investment returns that meet or exceed our internal benchmarks. We intend to implement our growth strategy in a number of ways, including:
In evaluating opportunities for potential acquisition, development, redevelopment and disposition, we consider a number of factors, including:
In 2011, we were successful in executing new leases for anchor tenants at multiple properties in our development, redevelopment, and operating portfolios. We signed leases totaling 99,000 square feet with Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshall’s, Michael’s, and Petco to anchor our New Hill Place – Phase I development near Raleigh, North Carolina. We also signed leases totaling 42,000 square feet with Home Goods and DSW at our Plaza at Cedar Hill operating property in Dallas, Texas and a 30,000 square foot anchor lease with Whole Foods at our Oleander Pointe redevelopment property in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Financing and Capital Preservation Strategy. We finance our development, redevelopment and acquisition activities seeking to use the most advantageous sources of capital available to us at the time. These sources may include the sale of common or preferred shares through public offerings or private placements, the reinvestment of proceeds from the disposition of assets, the incurrence of additional indebtedness through secured or unsecured borrowings, and investment in real estate joint ventures.
Our primary financing and capital preservation strategy is to maintain a strong balance sheet with sufficient flexibility to fund our operating and development activities in the most cost-effective way possible. We consider a number of factors when evaluating our level of indebtedness and when making decisions regarding additional borrowings, including the purchase price of properties to be developed or acquired with debt financing, the estimated market value of our properties and the Company as a whole upon consummation of the refinancing, and the ability of particular properties to generate cash flow to cover expected debt service. As discussed in more detail in Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” recent market conditions have heightened the need for most REITs, including us, to continue to place an emphasis on financing and capital preservation strategies. Our efforts to strengthen our balance sheet are essential to the success of our business. We intend to continue implementing our financing and capital strategies in a number of ways, including:
Our principal business is the ownership, operation, acquisition and development of high-quality neighborhood and community shopping centers in selected markets in the United States. Historically, the operations of the Company have been aligned into two business segments: (1) real estate operations and development activities, and (2) construction and advisory services. Over the last several years, the Company made a strategic decision to reduce its third party construction and advisory services activity. As a result of this decision, the Company has not entered into any new significant construction or advisory contracts in 2011. The operations of this segment are de minimis for the year ended December 31, 2011, and the Company expects they will remain so in the foreseeable future.
The United States commercial real estate market continues to be highly competitive. We face competition from other REITs and other owner-operators engaged in the development, acquisition, ownership and leasing of shopping centers as well as from numerous local, regional and national real estate developers and owners in each of our markets. Some of these competitors may have greater capital resources than we do; although we do not believe that any single competitor or group of competitors in any of the primary markets where our properties are located are dominant in that market.
We face significant competition in our efforts to lease available space to prospective tenants at our operating, development and redevelopment properties. The nature of the competition for tenants varies depending upon the characteristics of each local market in which we own and manage properties. We believe that the principal competitive factors in attracting tenants in our market areas are location, demographics, rental rates, the presence of anchor stores, competitor shopping centers in the same geographic area and the maintenance, appearance, access and traffic patterns of our properties. There can be no assurance in the future that we will be able to compete successfully with our competitors in our development, acquisition and leasing activities.
We and our properties are subject to a variety of federal, state, and local environmental, health, safety and similar laws including:
Americans with Disabilities Act. Our properties must comply with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, to the extent that such properties are public accommodations as defined by the ADA. The ADA may require removal of structural barriers to access by persons with disabilities in certain public areas of our properties where such removal is readily achievable. We believe our properties are in substantial compliance with the ADA and that we will not be required to make substantial capital expenditures to address the requirements of the ADA. However, noncompliance with the ADA could result in the imposition of fines or an award of damages to private litigants. The obligation to make readily accessible accommodations is an ongoing one, and we will continue to assess our properties and make alterations as appropriate in this respect.
Environmental Regulations. Some properties in our portfolio contain, may have contained or are adjacent to or near other properties that have contained or currently contain underground storage tanks for petroleum products or other hazardous or toxic substances. These operations may have released, or have the potential to release, such substances into the environment.
In addition, some of our properties have tenants which may use hazardous or toxic substances in the routine course of their businesses. In general, these tenants have covenanted in their leases with us to use these substances, if any, in compliance with all environmental laws and have agreed to indemnify us for any damages we may suffer as a result of their use of such substances. However, these lease provisions may not fully protect us in the event that a tenant becomes insolvent. Finally, one of our properties has contained asbestos-containing building materials, or ACBM, and another property may have contained such materials based on the date of its construction. Environmental laws require that ACBM be properly managed and maintained, and fines and penalties may be imposed on building owners or operators for failure to comply with these requirements. The laws also may allow third parties to seek recovery from owners or operators for personal injury associated with exposure to asbestos fibers.
Neither existing environmental, health, safety and similar laws nor the costs of our compliance with these laws has had a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results operations, and management does not believe they will in the future. In addition, we have not incurred, and do not expect to incur, any material costs or liabilities due to environmental contamination at properties we currently own or have owned in the past. However, we cannot predict the impact of new or changed laws or regulations on properties we currently own or may acquire in the future.
We carry comprehensive liability, fire, extended coverage, and rental loss insurance that covers all properties in our portfolio. We believe the policy specifications and insured limits are appropriate and adequate given the relative risk of loss, the cost of the coverage, and industry practice. We do not carry insurance for generally uninsurable losses such as loss from riots, war or acts of God, and, in some cases, flooding. Some of our policies, such as those covering losses due to terrorism and floods, are insured subject to limitations involving large deductibles or co-payments and policy limits that may not be sufficient to cover losses.
Our principal executive office is located at 30 S. Meridian Street, Suite 1100, Indianapolis, IN 46204. Our telephone number is (317) 577-5600.
As of December 31, 2011, we had 77 full-time employees. The majority of these employees were “home office” personnel.
Our Internet website address is www.kiterealty.com. You can obtain on our website, free of charge, a copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, our current reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such reports or amendments with, or furnish them to, the SEC. Our Internet website and the information contained therein or connected thereto are not intended to be incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Also available on our website, free of charge, are copies of our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, our Code of Ethics for Principal Executive Officer and Senior Financial Officers, our Corporate Governance Guidelines, and the charters for each of the committees of our Board of Trustees—the Audit Committee, the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee, and the Compensation Committee. Copies of our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, our Code of Ethics for Principal Executive Officer and Senior Financial Officers, our Corporate Governance Guidelines, and our committee charters are also available from us in print and free of charge to any shareholder upon request. Any person wishing to obtain such copies in print should contact our Investor Relations department by mail at our principal executive office.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and presented elsewhere by our management from time to time. These factors, among others, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results and cash flows, and you should carefully consider them. It is not possible to predict or identify all such factors. You should not consider this list to be a complete statement of all potential risks or uncertainties. Past performance should not be considered an indication of future performance.
We have separated the risks into three categories:
RISKS RELATED TO OUR OPERATIONS
Because of our geographical concentration in Indiana, Florida and Texas, a prolonged economic downturn in these states could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
The United States economy was in a recession during 2009 and for a portion of 2010. Similarly, the specific markets in which we operate continue to face challenging economic conditions that could persist into the future. In particular, as of December 31, 2011, 40% of our owned square footage and total annualized base rent was located in Indiana, 24% of our owned square footage and total annualized base rent was located in Florida, and 18% of our owned square footage and 16% of our total annualized base rent was located in Texas. This level of concentration could expose us to greater economic risks than if we owned properties in numerous geographic regions. Many states continue to deal with state fiscal budget shortfalls, high unemployment rates and home foreclosure rates. Continued adverse economic or real estate trends in Indiana, Florida, Texas, or the surrounding regions, or any continued decrease in demand for retail space resulting from the local regulatory environment, business climate or fiscal problems in these states, could materially and adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, the trading price of our common shares and our ability to satisfy our debt service obligations and to pay distributions to our shareholders.
Severe disruptions in the financial markets could affect our ability to obtain financing for development of our properties and other purposes on reasonable terms, or at all, and have other material adverse effects on our business.
Disruptions in the credit markets generally, or relating to the real estate industry specifically, may adversely affect our ability to obtain debt financing at favorable rates or at all. In 2008 and 2009, the United States financial and credit markets experienced significant price volatility, dislocations and liquidity disruptions, which caused market prices of many financial instruments to fluctuate substantially and the spreads on prospective debt financings to widen considerably. Those circumstances materially impacted liquidity in the financial markets, making terms for certain financings less attractive, and in some cases resulted in the unavailability of financing. Although the credit markets have recovered from this severe dislocation, there are a number of continuing effects, including a weakening of many traditional sources of debt financing, a reduction in the overall amount of debt financing available, lower loan to value ratios, a tightening of lender underwriting standards and terms and higher interest rate spreads. As a result, we may be unable to refinance or extend our existing indebtedness or the terms of any refinancing may not be as favorable as the terms of our existing indebtedness. For example, as of January 31, 2012, we had approximately $31 million and $94 million of debt maturing in 2012 and 2013, respectively. If we are not successful in refinancing our outstanding debt when it becomes due, we may be forced to dispose of properties on disadvantageous terms, which might adversely affect our ability to service other debt and to meet our other obligations.
If a dislocation similar to that which occurred in 2008 and 2009 occurs in the future, we may be forced to seek alternative sources of potentially less attractive financing, and have to adjust our business plan accordingly. In addition, we may be unable to obtain permanent financing on development projects we financed with construction loans. Our inability to obtain such permanent financing on favorable terms, if at all, could delay the completion of our development projects and/or cause us to incur additional capital costs in connection with completing such projects, either of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and our ability to execute our business strategy. These events also may make it more difficult or costly for us to raise capital through the issuance of our common stock or preferred stock. The disruptions in the financial markets have had and may continue to have a material adverse effect on the market value of our common shares and other adverse effects on our business.
If our tenants are unable to secure financing necessary to continue to operate their businesses and pay us rent, we could be materially and adversely affected.
Many of our tenants rely on external sources of financing to operate their businesses. As discussed above, there are a number of continuing effects of the disruptions experienced in the United States financial and credit markets in 2008 and 2009. If our tenants are unable to secure financing necessary to continue to operate their businesses, they may be unable to meet their rent obligations to us or enter into new leases with us or be forced to declare bankruptcy and reject our leases, which could materially and adversely affect us.
Ongoing challenging conditions in the United States and global economy, and the challenges facing our retail tenants and non-owned anchor tenants may have a material adverse affect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We are susceptible to adverse economic developments in the United States. The United States economy is still experiencing weakness from the recent recession, which resulted in increased unemployment, the bankruptcy or weakened financial condition of a number of retailers, decreased consumer spending, increased home foreclosures, low consumer confidence, a decline in residential and commercial property values and reduced demand and rental rates for retail space. Although the United States economy appears to have emerged from the recent recession, market conditions remain challenging as high levels of unemployment and low consumer confidence have persisted. There can be no assurance that the recovery will continue. General economic factors that are beyond our control, including, but not limited to, recessions, decreases in consumer confidence, reductions in consumer credit availability, increasing consumer debt levels, rising energy costs, tax rates, continued business layoffs, downsizing and industry slowdowns, and/or rising inflation, could have a negative impact on the business of our retail tenants. In turn, this could have a material adverse effect on our business because current or prospective tenants may, among other things (i) have difficulty paying us rent as they struggle to sell goods and services to consumers, (ii) be unwilling to enter into or renew leases with us on favorable terms or at all, (iii) seek to terminate their existing leases with us or seek downward rental adjustment to such leases, or (iv) be forced to curtail operations or declare bankruptcy. We are also susceptible to other developments that, while not directly tied to the economy, could have a material adverse effect on our business. These developments include relocations of businesses, changing demographics, increased Internet shopping, infrastructure quality, federal, state, and local budgetary constraints and priorities, increases in real estate and other taxes, costs of complying with government regulations or increased regulation, decreasing valuations of real estate, and other factors.
Further, we continually monitor events and changes in circumstances that could indicate that the carrying value of our real estate assets may not be recoverable. The ongoing challenging market conditions could require us to recognize an impairment charge, with respect to one or more of our properties, or a loss on disposition of one or more of our properties.
Our business is significantly influenced by demand for retail space generally, and a decrease in such demand may have a greater adverse effect on our business than if we owned a more diversified real estate portfolio.
Because our portfolio of properties consists primarily of community and neighborhood shopping centers, a decrease in the demand for retail space, due to the economic factors discussed above or otherwise, may have a greater adverse effect on our business and financial condition than if we owned a more diversified real estate portfolio. The market for retail space has been, and could continue to be, adversely affected by weakness in the national, regional and local economies, the adverse financial condition of some large retailing companies, the ongoing consolidation in the retail sector, the excess amount of retail space in a number of markets, and increasing consumer purchases through the Internet. To the extent that any of these conditions occur, they are likely to negatively affect market rents for retail space and could materially and adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, the trading price of our common shares and our ability to satisfy our debt service obligations and to pay distributions to our shareholders.
Failure by any major tenant with leases in multiple locations to make rental payments to us, because of a deterioration of its financial condition or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
We derive the majority of our revenue from tenants who lease space from us at our properties. Therefore, our ability to generate cash from operations is dependent on the rents that we are able to charge and collect from our tenants. Our leases generally do not contain provisions designed to ensure the creditworthiness of our tenants. At any time, our tenants may experience a downturn in their business that may significantly weaken their financial condition, particularly during periods of economic uncertainty such as what has recently occurred. For example, Sears Holdings, which leases 111,000 square feet and accounts for 1.1% of our annualized base rent has recently announced it is closing 100 stores. The store in our center is not one of those identified by Sears for closure; however, there is no assurance that this will continue to be the case in the future. In the event of a prolonged economic downturn, our tenants may delay lease commencements, decline to extend or renew leases upon expiration, fail to make rental payments when due, close a number of stores or declare bankruptcy. Any of these actions could result in the termination of the tenant’s leases and the loss of rental income attributable to the terminated leases. In addition, lease terminations by a major tenant or non-owned anchor or a failure by that major tenant or non-owned anchor to occupy the premises could result in lease terminations or reductions in rent by other tenants in the same shopping centers because of contractual co-tenancy termination or rent reduction rights under the terms of some leases. In that event, we may be unable to re-lease the vacated space at attractive rents or at all. The occurrence of any of the situations described above, particularly if it involves a substantial tenant or a non-owned anchor with ground leases in multiple locations, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. As of December 31, 2011, the five largest tenants in our operating portfolio in terms of annualized base rent were Publix, Bed Bath & Beyond/Buy Buy Baby, PetSmart, Ross Stores and Toys “R” Us, representing 2.9%, 2.7%, 2.6%, 2.3%, and 2.2%, respectively, of our total annualized base rent.
We face potential material adverse effects from tenant bankruptcies, and we may be unable to collect balances due from any tenant in bankruptcy or replace the tenant at current rates, or at all.
Bankruptcy filings by our retail tenants occur from time to time. Such bankruptcies may increase in times of economic uncertainty such as what has recently occurred. We cannot make any assurance that any tenant who files for bankruptcy protection will continue to pay us rent. A bankruptcy filing by or relating to one of our tenants or a lease guarantor would bar all efforts by us to collect pre-bankruptcy debts from that tenant or the lease guarantor, or their property, unless we receive an order permitting us to do so from the bankruptcy court. A tenant or lease guarantor bankruptcy could delay our efforts to collect past due balances under the relevant leases, and could ultimately preclude collection of these sums. If a lease is assumed by the tenant in bankruptcy, all pre-bankruptcy balances due under the lease must be paid to us in full. However, if a lease is rejected by a tenant in bankruptcy, we would have only a general unsecured claim for damages. Any unsecured claim we hold may be paid only to the extent that funds are available and only in the same percentage as is paid to all other holders of unsecured claims, and there are restrictions under bankruptcy laws that limit the amount of the claim we can make if a lease is rejected. As a result, it is likely that we will recover substantially less than the full value of any unsecured claims we hold from a tenant in bankruptcy, which would result in a reduction in our cash flow and in the amount of cash available for distribution to our shareholders.
Moreover, we are continually re-leasing vacant spaces resulting from tenant lease terminations. The bankruptcy of a tenant, particularly an anchor tenant, may make it more difficult to lease the remainder of the affected properties. Future tenant bankruptcies could materially adversely affect our properties or impact our ability to successfully execute our re-leasing strategy.
We had $689 million of consolidated indebtedness outstanding as of December 31, 2011, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations and reduce our ability to incur additional indebtedness to fund our growth.
Required repayments of debt and related interest may materially adversely affect our operating performance. We had $689 million of consolidated outstanding indebtedness as of December 31, 2011, of which $56 million is scheduled to mature in 2012, and $88 million is scheduled to mature in 2013 along with our share of mortgage debt of unconsolidated joint ventures of $6 million. At December 31, 2011, $313 million of our debt bore interest at variable rates ($283 million when reduced by our $30 million of fixed interest rate swaps) along with our share of mortgage debt of unconsolidated joint ventures of $6 million. Interest rates are currently low relative to historical levels and may increase significantly in the future. If our interest expense increased significantly, it could materially adversely affect our results of operations. For example, if market rates of interest on our variable rate debt outstanding, net of cash flow hedges, as of December 31, 2011 increased by 1%, the increase in interest expense on our variable rate debt would decrease future cash flows by $2.9 million annually.
We also intend to incur additional debt in connection with various development and redevelopment projects, and may incur additional debt with acquisitions of properties. Our organizational documents do not limit the amount of indebtedness that we may incur. We may borrow new funds to develop or acquire properties. In addition, we may incur or increase our mortgage debt by obtaining loans secured by some or all of the real estate properties we develop or acquire. We also may borrow funds if necessary to satisfy the requirement that we distribute to shareholders at least 90% of our annual REIT taxable income, or otherwise as is necessary or advisable to ensure that we maintain our qualification as a REIT for federal income tax purposes or otherwise avoid paying taxes that can be eliminated through distributions to our shareholders.
Our substantial debt could materially and adversely affect our business in other ways, including by, among other things:
Agreements with lenders supporting our unsecured revolving credit facility and various other loan agreements contain default provisions which, among other things, could result in the acceleration of principal and interest payments or the termination of the facilities.>
Our unsecured revolving credit facility and various other debt agreements contain certain Events of Default which include, but are not limited to, failure to make principal or interest payments when due, failure to perform or observe any term in the agreement, covenant or condition contained in the agreements, failure to maintain certain financial and operating ratios and other criteria, misrepresentations and bankruptcy proceedings. In the event of a default under any of these agreements, the lender would have various rights including, but not limited to, the ability to require the acceleration of the payment of all principal and interest due and/or to terminate the agreements, and to foreclose on the properties. The declaration of a default and/or the acceleration of the amount due under any such credit agreement could have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, certain of our fixed-rate and variable-rate loans contain cross-default provisions which provide that a violation by the Company of any financial covenant set forth in our unsecured revolving credit facility agreement will constitute an event of default under the loans, which could allow the lending institutions to accelerate the amount due under the loans.
Mortgage debt obligations expose us to the possibility of foreclosure, which could result in the loss of our investment in a property or group of properties subject to mortgage debt.
A significant amount of our indebtedness is secured by our real estate assets. If a property or group of properties is mortgaged to secure payment of debt and we are unable to meet mortgage payments, the holder of the mortgage or lender could foreclose on the property, resulting in the loss of our investment. For tax purposes, a foreclosure of any of our properties would be treated as a sale of the property for a purchase price equal to the outstanding balance of the debt secured by the mortgage. If the outstanding balance of the debt secured by the mortgage exceeds our tax basis in the property, we would recognize taxable income on foreclosure, but we would not receive any cash proceeds, which could hinder our ability to meet the REIT distribution requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. If any of our properties are foreclosed on due to a default, our ability to pay cash distributions to our shareholders and our earnings will be limited.
We are subject to risks associated with hedging agreements.
We use a combination of interest rate protection agreements, including interest rate swaps, to manage risk associated with interest rate volatility. This may expose us to additional risks, including a risk that counterparty to a hedging arrangement may fail to honor its obligations. Developing an effective interest rate risk strategy is complex and no strategy can completely insulate us from risks associated with interest rate fluctuations. There can be no assurance that our hedging activities will have the desired beneficial impact on our results of operations or financial condition. Further, should we choose to terminate a hedging agreement, there could be significant costs and cash requirements involved to fulfill our initial obligation under the hedging agreement.
A substantial number of common shares eligible for future sale could cause our common share price to decline significantly.
If our shareholders sell, or the market perceives that our shareholders intend to sell, substantial amounts of our common shares in the public market, the market price of our common shares could decline significantly. These sales also might make it more difficult for us to sell equity or equity-related securities in the future at a time and price that we deem appropriate. As of December 31, 2011, we had outstanding 63,617,019 common shares. Of these shares, 63,281,688 are freely tradable with the remainder held generally by our “affiliates,” as that term is defined by Rule 144 under the Securities Act. In addition, 7,842,498 units of our Operating Partnership are owned by our executive officers and other individuals, and are redeemable by the holder for cash or, at our election, common shares. Pursuant to registration rights of certain of our executive officers and other individuals, we filed a registration statement with the SEC in August 2005 to register 9,115,149 common shares issued (or issuable upon redemption of units in our Operating Partnership) in our formation transactions. As units are redeemed for common shares, the market price of our common shares could drop significantly if the holders of such shares sell them or are perceived by the market as intending to sell them.
Our performance and value are subject to risks associated with real estate assets and with the real estate industry.
Our ability to make expected distributions to our shareholders depends on our ability to generate substantial revenues from our properties. Periods of economic slowdown or recession, rising interest rates or declining demand for real estate, or the public perception that any of these events may occur, could result in a general decline in rents or an increased incidence of defaults under existing leases. Such events would materially and adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, per share trading price of our common shares and ability to satisfy our debt service obligations and to make distributions to our shareholders.
In addition, other events and conditions generally applicable to owners and operators of real property that are beyond our control may decrease cash available for distribution and the value of our properties. These events include but are not limited to:
Our financial covenants may restrict our operating and acquisition activities.
Our unsecured revolving credit facility contains certain financial and operating covenants, including, among other things, certain coverage ratios, as well as limitations on our ability to incur debt, make dividend payments, sell all or substantially all of our assets and engage in mergers and consolidations and certain acquisitions. These covenants may restrict our ability to pursue certain business initiatives or certain acquisition transactions. In addition, certain of our mortgages contain customary covenants which, among other things, limit our ability, without the prior consent of the lender, to further mortgage the property, to enter into new leases or materially modify existing leases, and to discontinue insurance coverage. Failure to meet any of the financial covenants could cause an event of default under and/or accelerate some or all of our indebtedness, which could have a material adverse effect on us.
Our current and future joint venture investments could be adversely affected by our lack of sole decision-making authority, our reliance on joint venture partners’ financial condition, any disputes that may arise between us and our joint venture partners and our exposure to potential losses from the actions of our joint venture partners.
As of December 31, 2011, we owned six of our operating properties through joint ventures. As of December 31, 2011, the six properties represented 7.8% of our annualized base rent. In addition, one of our in-process development projects and one of our future development projects are currently owned through joint ventures, one of which is accounted for under the equity method as of December 31, 2011 as we do not exercise requisite control for consolidation treatment. Our joint ventures involve risks not present with respect to our wholly owned properties, including the following:
In the future, we may seek to co-invest with third parties through joint ventures that may involve similar or additional risks.
We face significant competition, which may impede our ability to renew leases or re-lease space as leases expire or require us to undertake unbudgeted capital improvements.
We compete with numerous developers, owners and operators of retail shopping centers for tenants. These competitors include institutional investors, other REITs and other owner-operators of community and neighborhood shopping centers, some of which own or may in the future own properties similar to ours in the same markets in which our properties are located, but which have greater capital resources. As of December 31, 2011, leases were scheduled to expire on a total of 5.3% of the space at our properties in 2012. If our competitors offer space at rental rates below current market rates, or below the rental rates we currently charge our tenants, we may be unable to lease on satisfactory terms to potential tenants and we may be pressured to reduce our rental rates below those we currently charge in order to retain tenants when our leases with them expire. We also may be required to offer more substantial rent abatements, tenant improvements and early termination rights or accommodate requests for renovations, build-to-suit remodeling and other improvements than we have historically. As a result, our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, trading price of our common shares and ability to satisfy our debt service obligations and to pay distributions to our shareholders may be materially adversely affected. In addition, increased competition for tenants may require us to make capital improvements to properties that we would not have otherwise planned to make. Any capital improvements we undertake may reduce cash available for distributions to shareholders.
Our future developments and acquisitions may not yield the returns we expect or may result in dilution in shareholder value.
We have five in-process development/redevelopment projects and six future development/redevelopment projects. New development projects and property acquisitions are subject to a number of risks, including, but not limited to:
In addition, if a project is delayed or if we are unable to lease designated space to anchor tenants, certain tenants may have the right to terminate their leases. If any of these situations occur, development costs for a project will increase, which will result in reduced returns, or even losses, from such investments. In deciding whether to acquire or develop a particular property, we make certain assumptions regarding the expected future performance of that property. If these new properties do not perform as expected, our financial performance may be materially and adversely affected or an impairment charge could occur. In addition, the issuance of equity securities as consideration for any acquisitions could be dilutive to our shareholders.
We may not be successful in identifying suitable acquisitions or development and redevelopment projects that meet our investment criteria, which may impede our growth.
Part of our business strategy is expansion through acquisitions and development and redevelopment projects, which requires us to identify suitable development or acquisition candidates or investment opportunities that meet our criteria and are compatible with our growth strategy. We may not be successful in identifying suitable real estate properties or other assets that meet our development or acquisition criteria, or we may fail to complete developments, acquisitions or investments on satisfactory terms. Failure to identify or complete developments or acquisitions could slow our growth, which could in turn materially adversely affect our operations.
Redevelopment activities may be delayed or otherwise may not perform as expected and, in the case of an unsuccessful redevelopment project, our entire investment could be at risk for loss.
We currently have two in-process redevelopment projects and three future redevelopment projects. We expect to redevelop certain of our other properties in the future. In connection with any redevelopment of our properties, we will bear certain risks, including the risk of construction delays or cost overruns that may increase project costs and make a project uneconomical, the risk that occupancy or rental rates at a completed project will not be sufficient to enable us to pay operating expenses or earn the targeted rate of return on investment, and the risk of incurrence of predevelopment costs in connection with projects that are not pursued to completion. In addition, various tenants may have the right to withdraw from a property if a development and/or redevelopment project is not completed on time. In the case of a redevelopment project, consents may be required from various tenants in order to redevelop a center. In the case of an unsuccessful redevelopment project, our entire investment could be at risk for loss or an impairment charge could occur.
We may not be able to sell properties when appropriate and could, under certain circumstances, be required to pay certain tax indemnities related to the properties we sell.
Real estate property investments generally cannot be sold quickly. Our ability to dispose of properties on advantageous terms depends on factors beyond our control, including competition from other sellers and the availability of attractive financing for potential buyers of our properties, and we cannot predict the various market conditions affecting real estate investments that will exist at any particular time in the future. In addition, in connection with our formation at the time of our initial public offering (“IPO”), we entered into an agreement that restricts our ability, prior to December 31, 2016, to dispose of six of our properties in taxable transactions and limits the amount of gain we can trigger with respect to certain other properties without incurring reimbursement obligations owed to certain limited partners of our Operating Partnership. We have agreed that if we dispose of any interest in six specified properties in a taxable transaction before December 31, 2016, we will indemnify the contributors of those properties for their tax liabilities attributable to the built-in gain that exists with respect to such property interest as of the time of our IPO (and tax liabilities incurred as a result of the reimbursement payment). The six properties to which our tax indemnity obligations relate represented 15.6% of our annualized base rent in the aggregate as of December 31, 2011. These six properties are International Speedway Square, Shops at Eagle Creek, Whitehall Pike, Ridge Plaza Shopping Center, Thirty South and Market Street Village. We also agreed to limit the aggregate gain certain limited partners of our Operating Partnership would recognize, with respect to certain other contributed properties through December 31, 2016, to not more than $48 million in total, with certain annual limits, unless we reimburse them for the taxes attributable to the excess gain (and any taxes imposed on the reimbursement payments), and take certain other steps to help them avoid incurring taxes that were deferred in connection with the formation transactions.
The agreement described above is extremely complicated and imposes a number of procedural requirements on us, which makes it more difficult for us to ensure that we comply with all of the various terms of the agreement and therefore creates a greater risk that we may be required to make an indemnity payment. The complicated nature of this agreement also might adversely impact our ability to pursue other transactions, including certain kinds of strategic transactions and reorganizations.
Also, the tax laws applicable to REITs require that we hold our properties for investment, rather than primarily for sale in the ordinary course of business, which may cause us to forego or defer sales of properties that otherwise would be in our best interest. Therefore, we may be unable to adjust our portfolio mix promptly in response to market conditions, which may adversely affect our financial position. In addition, we will be subject to income taxes on gains from the sale of any properties owned by any taxable REIT subsidiary.
Potential losses may not be covered by insurance.
We do not carry insurance for generally uninsurable losses such as loss from riots, war or acts of God, and, in some cases, flooding. Some of our policies, such as those covering losses due to terrorism and floods, are insured subject to limitations involving large deductibles or co-payments and policy limits that may not be sufficient to cover all losses. If we experience a loss that is uninsured or that exceeds policy limits, we could lose the capital invested in the damaged properties as well as the anticipated future cash flows from those properties. Inflation, changes in building codes and ordinances, environmental considerations, and other factors also might make it impractical or undesirable to use insurance proceeds to replace a property after it has been damaged or destroyed. In addition, if the damaged properties are subject to recourse indebtedness, we would continue to be liable for the indebtedness, even if these properties were irreparably damaged.
Insurance coverage on our properties may be expensive or difficult to obtain, exposing us to potential risk of loss.
In the future, we may be unable to renew or duplicate our current insurance coverage in adequate amounts or at reasonable prices. In addition, insurance companies may no longer offer coverage against certain types of losses, such as losses due to terrorist acts, environmental liabilities, or other catastrophic events including hurricanes and floods, or, if offered, the expense of obtaining these types of insurance may not be justified. We therefore may cease to have insurance coverage against certain types of losses and/or there may be decreases in the limits of insurance available. If an uninsured loss or a loss in excess of our insured limits occurs, we could lose all or a portion of the capital we have invested in a property, as well as the anticipated future revenue from the property after a covered period of time, but still remain obligated for any mortgage debt or other financial obligations related to the property. We cannot guarantee that material losses in excess of insurance proceeds will not occur in the future. If any of our properties were to experience a catastrophic loss, it could seriously disrupt our operations, delay revenue and result in large expenses to repair or rebuild the property. Events such as these could adversely affect our results of operations and our ability to meet our obligations.
Rising operating expenses could reduce our cash flow and funds available for future distributions, particularly if such expenses are not offset by corresponding revenues.
Our existing properties and any properties we develop or acquire in the future are and will be subject to operating risks common to real estate in general, any or all of which may negatively affect us. The expenses of owning and operating properties generally do not decrease, and may increase, when circumstances such as market factors and competition cause a reduction in income from the properties. As a result, if any property is not fully occupied or if rents are being paid in an amount that is insufficient to cover operating expenses, we could be required to expend funds for that property’s operating expenses. Our properties continue to be subject to increases in real estate and other tax rates, utility costs, operating expenses, insurance costs, repairs and maintenance and administrative expenses, regardless of such properties’ occupancy rates. Therefore, rising operating expenses could reduce our cash flow and funds available for future distributions, particularly if such expenses are not offset by corresponding revenues.
We could incur significant costs related to government regulation and environmental matters.
Under various federal, state and local laws, ordinances and regulations, an owner or operator of real estate may be required to investigate and clean up hazardous or toxic substances or petroleum product releases at a property and may be held liable to a governmental entity or to third parties for property damage and for investigation and clean up costs incurred by such parties in connection with contamination. The cost of investigation, remediation or removal of such substances may be substantial, and the presence of such substances, or the failure to properly remediate such substances, may adversely affect the owner’s ability to sell or rent such property or to borrow using such property as collateral. In connection with the ownership, operation and management of real properties, we are potentially liable for removal or remediation costs, as well as certain other related costs, including governmental fines and injuries to persons and property. We may also be liable to third parties for damage and injuries resulting from environmental contamination emanating from the real estate. Environmental laws also may create liens on contaminated sites in favor of the government for damages and costs it incurs to address such contamination. Moreover, if contamination is discovered on our properties, environmental laws may impose restrictions on the manner in which that property may be used or how businesses may be operated on that property.
Some of the properties in our portfolio contain, may have contained or are adjacent to or near other properties that have contained or currently contain underground storage tanks for petroleum products or other hazardous or toxic substances. These operations may have released, or have the potential to release, such substances into the environment. In addition, some of our properties have tenants that may use hazardous or toxic substances in the routine course of their businesses. In general, these tenants have covenanted in their leases with us to use these substances, if any, in compliance with all environmental laws and have agreed to indemnify us for any damages that we may suffer as a result of their use of such substances. However, these lease provisions may not fully protect us in the event that a tenant becomes insolvent. Finally, one of our properties has contained asbestos-containing building materials, or ACBM, and another property may have contained such materials based on the date of its construction. Environmental laws require that ACBM be properly managed and maintained, and may impose fines and penalties on building owners or operators for failure to comply with these requirements. The laws also may allow third parties to seek recovery from owners or operators for personal injury associated with exposure to asbestos fibers.
Our properties must also comply with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, to the extent that such properties are public accommodations as defined by the ADA. The ADA may require removal of structural barriers to access by persons with disabilities in certain public areas of our properties where such removal is readily achievable. Noncompliance with the ADA could result in imposition of fines or an award of damages to private litigants and the incurrence of additional costs associated with bringing the properties into compliance, any of which could adversely affect our financial condition.
Our efforts to identify environmental liabilities may not be successful.
We test our properties for compliance with applicable environmental laws on a limited basis. We cannot give assurance that:
Inflation may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Most of our leases contain provisions requiring the tenant to pay its share of operating expenses, including common area maintenance, real estate taxes and insurance, to the extent we are able to recover such costs from our tenants. However, increased inflation could have a more pronounced negative impact on our mortgage and debt interest and general and administrative expenses, as these costs could increase at a rate higher than our rents. Also, inflation may adversely affect tenant leases with stated rent increases or limits on such tenant’s obligation to pay its share of operating expenses, which could be lower than the increase in inflation at any given time, and limit our ability to recover all of our operating expenses. Inflation could also have an adverse effect on consumer spending, which could impact our tenants’ sales and, in turn, our average rents, and in some cases, our percentage rents, where applicable. In addition, renewals of leases or future leases may not be negotiated on current terms, in which event we may have to pay a greater percentage or all of our operating expenses.
Our share price could be volatile and could decline, resulting in a substantial or complete loss on our shareholders’ investment.
The stock markets (including The New York Stock Exchange, or the “NYSE,” on which we list our common and preferred shares) have experienced significant price and volume fluctuations. The market price of our common and preferred shares could be similarly volatile, and investors in our shares may experience a decrease in the value of their shares, including decreases unrelated to our operating performance or prospects. Among the market conditions that may affect the market price of our publicly traded securities are the following:
Moreover, an active trading market on the NYSE for our Series A Preferred Shares that were issued in December 2010 may not develop or, if it does develop, may not last, in which case the trading price of our Series A Preferred Shares could be adversely affected. In the past, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in their stock price. This type of litigation could result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention and resources.
Holders of our Series A Preferred Shares have extremely limited voting rights.
Holders of our Series A Preferred Shares have extremely limited voting rights. Our common shares are the only class of our equity securities carrying full voting rights. Voting rights for holders of Series A Preferred Shares exist primarily with respect to the ability to appoint additional trustees to our Board of Trustees in the event that six quarterly dividends (whether or not consecutive) payable on our Series A Preferred Shares are in arrears, and with respect to voting on amendments to our declaration of trust or our Series A Preferred Shares Articles Supplementary that materially and adversely affect the rights of Series A Preferred Shares holders or create additional classes or series of preferred shares that are senior to our Series A Preferred Shares. Other than very limited circumstances, holders of our Series A Preferred Shares will not have voting rights.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE
Our organizational documents contain provisions that generally would prohibit any person (other than members of the Kite family who, as a group, are currently allowed to own up to 21.5% of our outstanding common shares) from beneficially owning more than 7% of our outstanding common shares (or up to 9.8% in the case of certain designated investment entities, as defined in our declaration of trust), which may discourage third parties from conducting a tender offer or seeking other change of control transactions that could involve a premium price for our shares or otherwise benefit our shareholders.
Our organizational documents contain provisions that may have an anti-takeover effect and inhibit a change in our management.
(1) There are ownership limits and restrictions on transferability in our declaration of trust. In order for us to qualify as a REIT, no more than 50% of the value of our outstanding shares may be owned, actually or constructively, by five or fewer individuals at any time during the last half of each taxable year. To make sure that we will not fail to satisfy this requirement and for anti-takeover reasons, our declaration of trust generally prohibits any shareholder (other than an excepted holder or certain designated investment entities, as defined in our declaration of trust) from owning (actually, constructively or by attribution), more than 7% of the value or number of our outstanding common shares. Our declaration of trust provides an excepted holder limit that allows members of the Kite family (Al Kite, John Kite and Paul Kite, their family members and certain entities controlled by one or more of the Kites), as a group, to own more than 7% of our outstanding common shares, so long as, under the applicable tax attribution rules, no one excepted holder treated as an individual would hold more than 21.5% of our common shares, no two excepted holders treated as individuals would own more than 28.5% of our common shares, no three excepted holders treated as individuals would own more than 35.5% of our common shares, no four excepted holders treated as individuals would own more than 42.5% of our common shares, and no five excepted holders treated as individuals would own more than 49.5% of our common shares. Currently, one of the excepted holders would be attributed all of the common shares owned by each other excepted holder and, accordingly, the excepted holders as a group would not be allowed to own in excess of 21.5% of our common shares. If at a later time, there were not one excepted holder that would be attributed all of the shares owned by the excepted holders as a group, the excepted holder limit would not permit each excepted holder to own 21.5% of our common shares. Rather, the excepted holder limit would prevent two or more excepted holders who are treated as individuals under the applicable tax attribution rules from owning a higher percentage of our common shares than the maximum amount of common shares that could be owned by any one excepted holder (21.5%), plus the maximum amount of common shares that could be owned by any one or more other individual common shareholders who are not excepted holders (7%). Certain entities that are defined as designated investment entities in our declaration of trust, which generally includes pension funds, mutual funds, and certain investment management companies, are permitted to own up to 9.8% of our outstanding common shares, so long as each beneficial owner of the shares owned by such designated investment entity would satisfy the 7% ownership limit if those beneficial owners owned directly their proportionate share of the common shares owned by the designated investment entity. Our Board of Trustees may waive, and has waived in the past, the 7% ownership limit or the 9.8% designated investment entity limit for a shareholder that is not an individual if such shareholder provides information and makes representations to the board that are satisfactory to the board, in its reasonable discretion, to establish that such person’s ownership in excess of the 7% limit or the 9.8% limit, as applicable, would not jeopardize our qualification as a REIT. In addition, our declaration of trust contains certain other ownership restrictions intended to prevent us from earning income from related parties if such income would cause us to fail to comply with the REIT gross income requirements. The various ownership restrictions may:
(2) Our declaration of trust permits our Board of Trustees to issue preferred shares with terms that may discourage a third party from acquiring us. Our declaration of trust permits our Board of Trustees to issue up to 40,000,000 preferred shares, having those preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to distributions, qualifications, or terms or conditions of redemption as determined by our Board. Thus, our Board could authorize the issuance of additional preferred shares with terms and conditions that could have the effect of discouraging a takeover or other transaction in which holders of some or a majority of our shares might receive a premium for their shares over the then-prevailing market price of our shares. In addition, any preferred shares that we issue likely would rank senior to our common shares with respect to payment of distributions, in which case we could not pay any distributions on our common shares until full distributions were paid with respect to such preferred shares.
(3) Our declaration of trust and bylaws contain other possible anti-takeover provisions. Our declaration of trust and bylaws contain other provisions that may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of our company or the removal of existing management and, as a result, could prevent our shareholders from being paid a premium for their common shares over the then-prevailing market prices. These provisions include advance notice requirements for shareholder proposals and our Board of Trustees’ power to reclassify shares and issue additional common shares or preferred shares and the absence of cumulative voting rights.
Certain provisions of Maryland law could inhibit changes in control.
Certain provisions of Maryland law may have the effect of inhibiting a third party from making a proposal to acquire us or of impeding a change of control under circumstances that otherwise could provide the holders of our common shares with the opportunity to realize a premium over the then-prevailing market price of such shares, including:
We have opted out of these provisions of Maryland law. However, our Board of Trustees may opt to make these provisions applicable to us at any time.
Certain officers and trustees may have interests that conflict with the interests of shareholders.
Certain of our officers and members of our Board of Trustees own limited partner units in our Operating Partnership. These individuals may have personal interests that conflict with the interests of our shareholders with respect to business decisions affecting us and our Operating Partnership, such as interests in the timing and pricing of property sales or refinancings in order to obtain favorable tax treatment. As a result, the effect of certain transactions on these unit holders may influence our decisions affecting these properties.
Departure or loss of our key officers could have an adverse effect on us.
Our future success depends, to a significant extent, upon the continued services of our existing executive officers. Our executive officers’ experience in real estate acquisition, development and finance are critical elements of our future success. We have employment agreements for one-year terms with each of our executive officers. These agreements automatically renew for a one-year term unless either we or the officer elects not to renew them. These agreements were automatically renewed for our three executive officers through December 31, 2012. If one or more of our key executives were to die, become disabled or otherwise leave the company's employ, we may not be able to replace this person with an executive officer of equal skill, ability, and industry expertise. Until suitable replacements could be identified and hired, if at all, our operations and financial condition could be impaired.
We depend on external capital to fund our capital needs.
To qualify as a REIT, we are required to distribute to our shareholders each year at least 90% of our net taxable income excluding net capital gains. In order to eliminate federal income tax, we are required to distribute annually 100% of our net taxable income, including capital gains. Partly because of these distribution requirements, we will not be able to fund all future capital needs, including capital for property development and acquisitions, with income from operations. We therefore will have to rely on third-party sources of capital, which may or may not be available on favorable terms, if at all. Any additional debt we incur will increase our leverage, expose us to the risk of default and may impose operating restrictions on us, and any additional equity we raise could be dilutive to existing shareholders. Our access to third-party sources of capital depends on a number of things, including:
If we cannot obtain capital from third-party sources, we may not be able to acquire or develop properties when strategic opportunities exist, satisfy our principal and interest obligations or make distributions to our shareholders.
Our rights and the rights of our shareholders to take action against our trustees and officers are limited.
Maryland law provides that a director or officer has no liability in that capacity if he or she performs his or her duties in good faith, in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in our best interests that an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances. Our declaration of trust and bylaws require us to indemnify our trustees and officers for actions taken by them in those capacities to the extent permitted by Maryland law. As a result, we and our shareholders may have more limited rights against our trustees and officers than might otherwise exist under common law. Accordingly, in the event that actions taken in good faith by any of our trustees or officers impede the performance of our company, our shareholders’ ability to recover damages from such trustee or officer will be limited.
Our shareholders have limited ability to prevent us from making any changes to our policies that they believe could harm our business, prospects, operating results or share price.
Our Board of Trustees has adopted policies with respect to certain activities. These policies may be amended or revised from time to time at the discretion of our Board of Trustees without a vote of our shareholders. This means that our shareholders will have limited control over changes in our policies. Such changes in our policies intended to improve, expand or diversify our business may not have the anticipated effects and consequently may adversely affect our business and prospects, results of operations and share price.
Failure of our company to qualify as a REIT would have serious adverse consequences to us and our shareholders.
We believe that we have qualified for taxation as a REIT for federal income tax purposes commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2004. We intend to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT, but we cannot assure shareholders that we will qualify as a REIT. We have not requested and do not plan to request a ruling from the IRS that we qualify as a REIT, and the statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are not binding on the IRS or any court. As a REIT, we generally will not be subject to federal income tax on our income that we distribute currently to our shareholders. Many of the REIT requirements, however, are highly technical and complex. The determination that we are a REIT requires an analysis of various factual matters and circumstances that may not be totally within our control. For example, to qualify as a REIT, at least 95% of our gross income must come from specific passive sources, such as rent, that are itemized in the REIT tax laws. In addition, to qualify as a REIT, we cannot own specified amounts of debt and equity securities of some issuers. We also are required to distribute to our shareholders with respect to each year at least 90% of our REIT taxable income (excluding capital gains). The fact that we hold substantially all of our assets through our Operating Partnership and its subsidiaries and joint ventures further complicates the application of the REIT requirements for us. Even a technical or inadvertent mistake could jeopardize our REIT status and, given the highly complex nature of the rules governing REITs and the ongoing importance of factual determinations, we cannot provide any assurance that we will continue to qualify as a REIT. Furthermore, Congress and the IRS might make changes to the tax laws and regulations, and the courts might issue new rulings, that make it more difficult, or impossible, for us to remain qualified as a REIT.
If we fail to qualify as a REIT for federal income tax purposes, and are unable to avail ourselves of certain savings provisions set forth in the Internal Revenue Code, we would be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate rates. As a taxable corporation, we would not be allowed to take a deduction for distributions to shareholders in computing our taxable income or pass through long term capital gains to individual shareholders at favorable rates. We also could be subject to the federal alternative minimum tax and possibly increased state and local taxes. We would not be able to elect to be taxed as a REIT for four years following the year we first failed to qualify unless the IRS were to grant us relief under certain statutory provisions. If we failed to qualify as a REIT, we would have to pay significant income taxes, which would reduce our net earnings available for investment or distribution to our shareholders. If we fail to qualify as a REIT, such failure would cause an event of default under our unsecured revolving credit facility and may adversely affect our ability to raise capital and to service our debt. This likely would have a significant adverse effect on our earnings and the value of our securities. In addition, we would no longer be required to pay any distributions to shareholders. If we fail to qualify as a REIT for federal income tax purposes and are able to avail ourselves of one or more of the statutory savings provisions in order to maintain our REIT status, we would nevertheless be required to pay penalty taxes of $50,000 or more for each such failure.
We will pay some taxes even if we qualify as a REIT.
Even if we qualify as a REIT for federal income tax purposes, we will be required to pay certain federal, state and local taxes on our income and property. For example, we will be subject to income tax to the extent we distribute less than 100% of our REIT taxable income (including capital gains). Additionally, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the amount, if any, by which dividends paid by us in any calendar year are less than the sum of 85% of our ordinary income, 95% of our capital gain net income and 100% of our undistributed income from prior years. Moreover, if we have net income from “prohibited transactions,” that income will be subject to a 100% tax. In general, prohibited transactions are sales or other dispositions of property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business. The determination as to whether a particular sale is a prohibited transaction depends on the facts and circumstances related to that sale. While we will undertake sales of assets if those assets become inconsistent with our long-term strategic or return objectives, we do not believe that those sales should be considered prohibited transactions, but there can be no assurance that the IRS would not contend otherwise. The need to avoid prohibited transactions could cause us to forego or defer sales of properties that our predecessors otherwise would have sold or that it might otherwise be in our best interest to sell.
In addition, any net taxable income earned directly by our taxable REIT subsidiaries, or through entities that are disregarded for federal income tax purposes as entities separate from our taxable REIT subsidiaries, will be subject to federal and possibly state corporate income tax. We have elected to treat Kite Realty Holdings, LLC as a taxable REIT subsidiary, and we may elect to treat other subsidiaries as taxable REIT subsidiaries in the future. In this regard, several provisions of the laws applicable to REITs and their subsidiaries ensure that a taxable REIT subsidiary will be subject to an appropriate level of federal income taxation. For example, a taxable REIT subsidiary is limited in its ability to deduct interest payments made to an affiliated REIT. In addition, the REIT has to pay a 100% penalty tax on some payments that it receives or on some deductions taken by the taxable REIT subsidiaries if the economic arrangements between the REIT, the REIT’s tenants, and the taxable REIT subsidiary are not comparable to similar arrangements between unrelated parties. Finally, some state and local jurisdictions may tax some of our income even though as a REIT we are not subject to federal income tax on that income because not all states and localities treat REITs the same way they are treated for federal income tax purposes. To the extent that we and our affiliates are required to pay federal, state and local taxes, we will have less cash available for distributions to our shareholders.
REIT distribution requirements may increase our indebtedness.
We may be required from time to time, under certain circumstances, to accrue income for tax purposes that has not yet been received. In such event, or upon our repayment of principal on debt, we could have taxable income without sufficient cash to enable us to meet the distribution requirements of a REIT. Accordingly, we could be required to borrow funds or liquidate investments on adverse terms in order to meet these distribution requirements.
Dividends paid by REITs generally do not qualify for reduced tax rates.
The maximum U.S. federal income tax rate applicable to income from “qualified dividends” payable to U.S. shareholders that are individuals, trusts and estates has been reduced by legislation to 15% (through 2010). Unlike dividends received from a corporation that is not a REIT, the Company’s distributions to individual shareholders generally are not eligible for the reduced rates. Although this legislation does not adversely affect the taxation of REITs or dividends payable by REITs, the more favorable rates applicable to regular corporate qualified dividends could cause investors who are individuals, trusts and estates to perceive investments in REITs to be relatively less attractive than investments in the shares of non-REIT corporations that pay dividends, which could adversely affect the value of the shares of REITs, including our common shares.
ITEM 1.B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
Retail Operating Properties
As of December 31, 2011, we owned interests in a portfolio of 54 retail operating properties totaling 8.4 million square feet of gross leasable area (“GLA”) (including non-owned anchor space). The following tables set forth more specific information with respect to the Company’s retail operating properties as of December 31, 2011:
OPERATING RETAIL PROPERTIES - TABLE I
OPERATING RETAIL PROPERTIES - TABLE I (continued)
OPERATING RETAIL PROPERTIES – TABLE II
OPERATING RETAIL PROPERTIES – TABLE II (continued)
As of December 31, 2011, we owned interests in four operating commercial properties totaling 0.6 million square feet of net rentable area (“NRA”) and an associated parking garage. The following sets forth more specific information with respect to the Company’s commercial properties as of December 31, 2011:
OPERATING COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES
In-Process Development / Redevelopment Projects
In addition to our operating retail properties, as of December 31, 2011, we owned interests in five in-process development and redevelopment projects that are expected to contain 0.8 million square feet of gross leasable area (including non-owned anchor space) upon completion. The following sets forth more specific information with respect to the Company’s retail development properties as of December 31, 2011: