VORNADO REALTY LP 10-K 2010
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D. C. 20549
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Class A Units of Limited Partnership Interest
Series A Preferred Units of Limiter Partnership Interest
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
YES x NO o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 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 website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).
YES o 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 registrants 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. o
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 Exchange Act).
YES o NO x
There is no public market for the Class A units of limited partnership interest. Based on the June 30, 2009 closing share price of Vornado Realty Trusts common shares, which are issuable upon redemption of the Class A units, the aggregate market value of the Class A units held by non‑affiliates of the registrant, i.e. by persons other than Vornado Realty Trust and its officers and trustees, was $7,216,326,000 at June 30, 2009.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Part III: Portions of Proxy Statement for Annual Meeting of Vornado Realty Trusts Shareholders to be held on May 13, 2010.
(1) These items are omitted in whole or in part because Vornado Realty Trust, the registrants sole general partner, will file a definitive Proxy Statement pursuant to Regulation 14A under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 with the Securities and Exchange Commission not later than 120 days after December 31, 2009, portions of which are incorporated by reference herein. Information regarding executive officers of Vornado Realty Trust can be found on page 57 of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K.
Certain statements contained herein constitute forward‑looking statements as such term is defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They represent our intentions, plans, expectations and beliefs and are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Our future results, financial condition and business may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. You can find many of these statements by looking for words such as approximates, believes, expects, anticipates, estimates, intends, plans, would, may or other similar expressions in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K. We also note the following forward-looking statements: in the case of our development projects, the estimated completion date, estimated project cost and cost to complete; and estimates of future capital expenditures, common and preferred share dividends and operating partnership distributions. Many of the factors that will determine the outcome of these and our other forward-looking statements are beyond our ability to control or predict. For further discussion of factors that could materially affect the outcome of our forward-looking statements, see Item 1A. Risk Factors in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
For these statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or the date of any document incorporated by reference. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. We do not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions to our forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Vornado Realty L.P. (the Operating Partnership and/or the Company) is a Delaware limited partnership. Vornado Realty Trust (Vornado) is the sole general partner of, and owned approximately 92.5% of the common limited partnership interest in, the Operating Partnership at December 31, 2009. All references to we, us, our, the Company and the Operating Partnership refer to Vornado Realty L.P. and its consolidated subsidiaries.
As of December 31, 2009, we own directly or indirectly:
(i) all or portions of 28 properties aggregating 16.2 million square feet in the New York City metropolitan area (primarily Manhattan);
(ii) all or portions of 84 properties aggregating 18.6 million square feet in the Washington, DC / Northern Virginia areas;
(iii) a 70% controlling interest in 555 California Street, a three-building complex aggregating 1.8 million square feet in San Franciscos financial district;
(iv) 162 properties aggregating 22.6 million square feet, including 3.9 million square feet owned by tenants on land leased from us, primarily in Manhattan, the northeast states, California and Puerto Rico;
Merchandise Mart Properties:
(v) 8 properties aggregating 8.9 million square feet of showroom and office space, including the 3.5 million square foot Merchandise Mart in Chicago;
Toys R Us, Inc. (Toys):
(vi) a 32.7% interest in Toys which owns and/or operates 1,567 stores worldwide, including 851 stores in the United States and 716 stores internationally;
Other Real Estate Investments:
(vii) 32.4% of the common stock of Alexanders, Inc. (NYSE: ALX), which has seven properties in the greater New York metropolitan area;
(viii) the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City;
(ix) mezzanine loans on real estate; and
(x) other real estate and investments, including marketable securities.
Objectives and Strategy
Our business objective is to maximize Vornados shareholder value. We intend to achieve this objective by continuing to pursue our investment philosophy and executing our operating strategies through:
· Maintaining a superior team of operating and investment professionals and an entrepreneurial spirit;
· Investing in properties in select markets, such as New York City and Washington, DC, where we believe there is a high likelihood of capital appreciation;
· Acquiring quality properties at a discount to replacement cost and where there is a significant potential for higher rents;
· Investing in retail properties in select under-stored locations such as the New York City metropolitan area;
· Investing in fully-integrated operating companies that have a significant real estate component; and
· Developing and redeveloping existing properties to increase returns and maximize value.
We expect to finance our growth, acquisitions and investments using internally generated funds, proceeds from possible asset sales and by accessing the public and private capital markets. We may also offer Operating Partnership units in exchange for property and may repurchase or otherwise reacquire our units or any other securities in the future.
We may also determine to raise capital for future real estate acquisitions through an institutional investment fund. We would serve as the general partner of the fund and would also expect to be a limited partner of the fund and have the potential to earn certain incentives based on the funds performance. The fund may serve as our exclusive investment vehicle for a limited period of time for all investments that fit within the funds investment parameters. If we determine to raise capital through a fund, the partnership interests offered would not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933 and could not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration under that act or an applicable exemption from those registration requirements.
The economic recession and illiquidity and volatility in the financial and capital markets have negatively affected substantially all businesses, including ours. Demand for office and retail space has declined nationwide due to bankruptcies, downsizing, layoffs and cost cutting. Real estate transactions and development opportunities have significantly curtailed and capitalization rates have risen. These trends have negatively impacted our 2008 and 2009 financial results, which include losses associated with abandoned development projects, valuation allowances on investments in mezzanine loans and impairments on other real estate investments. The details of these non-cash charges are described in Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Part II, Item 7 of this annual report on Form 10-K. It is not possible for us to quantify the impact of the above trends, which may continue in 2010 and beyond, on our future financial results.
ACQUISITIONS and DISPOSITIONS
We did not make any significant investments in real estate during 2009.
On September 1, 2009, we sold 1999 K Street, a newly developed 250,000 square foot office building, in Washingtons Central Business District, for $207,800,000 in cash, which resulted in a net gain of $41,211,000. We also sold 15 retail properties during 2009 in separate transactions for an aggregate of $55,000,000 in cash, which resulted in net gains aggregating $4,073,000.
In April 2009, Vornado sold 17,250,000 common shares, including underwriters over-allotment, in an underwritten public offering pursuant to an effective registration statement at an initial public offering price of $43.00 per share. Vornado received net proceeds of $710,226,000, after underwriters discount and offering expenses and contributed the net proceeds to us in exchange for 17,250,000 Class A units.
On September 30, 2009, we completed a public offering of $460,000,000 principal amount of 7.875% callable senior unsecured 30-year notes (NYSE: VNOD) due October 1, 2039. The notes were sold to the public at par and may be redeemed at our option, in whole or in part, beginning in October 2014 at a price equal to the principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest. We received net proceeds of approximately $446,000,000 from the offering which were used to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.
During 2009, we purchased $1,912,724,000 (aggregate face amount) of our convertible senior debentures due to Vornado and $352,740,000 (aggregate face amount) of our senior unsecured notes for $1,877,510,000 and $343,694,000 in cash, respectively. This debt was acquired directly from Vornado and through tender offers and in the open market and has been retired. We also repaid $650,285,000 of existing property level debt and completed $277,000,000 of property level financings.
Development and Redevelopment Projects
We are currently engaged in certain development/redevelopment projects for which we have budgeted approximately $200,000,000. Of this amount, $78,118,000 was expended prior to 2009 and $50,513,000 was expended during 2009. Substantially all of the estimated costs to complete these projects, aggregating approximately $71,000,000, are anticipated to be expended during 2010, of which approximately $18,000,000 will be funded by existing construction loans. We are also evaluating other development opportunities for which final plans, budgeted costs and financing have yet to be determined. There can be no assurance that any of our development projects will commence, or if commenced, be completed on schedule or within budget.
We operate in the following business segments: New York Office Properties, Washington, DC Office Properties, Retail Properties, Merchandise Mart Properties and Toys. Financial information related to these business segments for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007 are set forth in Note 22 Segment Information to our consolidated financial statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The Merchandise Mart Properties segment has trade show operations in Canada and Switzerland. The Toys segment has 716 locations internationally. In addition, we have five partially owned nonconsolidated investments in real estate partnerships located in India, which are included in the Other segment.
Our revenues and expenses are subject to seasonality during the year which impacts quarterly net earnings, cash flows and funds from operations, and therefore comparisons of the current quarter to the previous quarter. The business of Toys is highly seasonal. Historically, Toys fourth quarter net income, which we record on a one-quarter lag basis in our first quarter, accounts for more than 80% of its fiscal year net income. The New York and Washington, DC Office Properties and Merchandise Mart Properties segments have historically experienced higher utility costs in the first and third quarters of the year. The Merchandise Mart Properties segment has also experienced higher earnings in the second and fourth quarters of the year due to major trade shows occurring in those quarters. The Retail Properties segment revenue in the fourth quarter is typically higher due to the recognition of percentage rental income.
tenants ACCOUNTING FOR over 10% of revenues
None of our tenants accounted for more than 10% of total revenues in any of the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007.
We are not required to base our acquisitions and investments on specific allocations by type of property. We have historically held our properties for long‑term investment; however, it is possible that properties in the portfolio may be sold as circumstances warrant. Further, we have not adopted a policy that limits the amount or percentage of assets which could be invested in a specific property or property type. Although Vornado may seek the vote of its shareholders in connection with any particular material transaction, generally our activities are reviewed and may be modified from time to time by Vornados Board of Trustees without the vote of Vornados shareholders.
As of December 31, 2009, we have approximately 4,597 employees, of which 308 are corporate staff. The New York Office Properties segment has 128 employees and an additional 2,512 employees of Building Maintenance Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary, which provides cleaning, security and engineering services primarily to our New York Office and Washington, DC Office properties. The Washington, DC Office Properties, Retail Properties and Merchandise Mart Properties segments have 396, 176 and 582 employees, respectively, and the Hotel Pennsylvania has 495 employees. The foregoing does not include employees of partially owned entities, including Toys or Alexanders, in which we own 32.7% and 32.4%, respectively.
principal executive offices
Our principal executive offices are located at 888 Seventh Avenue, New York, New York 10019; telephone (212) 894‑7000.
MATERIALS AVAILABLE ON VORNADOS WEBSITE
Copies of Vornados Annual Report on Form 10‑K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10‑Q, Current Reports on Form 8‑K, and amendments to those reports, as well as Reports on Forms 3, 4 and 5 regarding Vornados officers, trustees or 10% beneficial owners, filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a), 15(d) or 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are available free of charge through Vornados website (www.vno.com) as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission. Also available on Vornados website are copies of Vornados Audit Committee Charter, Compensation Committee Charter, Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee Charter, Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and Corporate Governance Guidelines. In the event of any changes to these charters or the code or guidelines, changed copies will also be made available on Vornados website. Copies of these documents and our filings are also available directly from Vornado free of charge. Vornados website also includes other financial information, including certain non-GAAP financial measures, none of which is a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Material factors that may adversely affect our business, operations and financial condition are summarized below.
Real Estate Investments Value and Income Fluctuate Due to Various Factors.
The value of real estate fluctuates depending on conditions in the general economy and the real estate business. These conditions may also limit our revenues and available cash.
The factors that affect the value of our real estate investments include, among other things:
· national, regional and local economic conditions;
· competition from other available space;
· local conditions such as an oversupply of space or a reduction in demand for real estate in the area;
· how well we manage our properties;
· changes in market rental rates;
· the timing and costs associated with property improvements and rentals;
· whether we are able to pass some or all of any increases in operating costs through to tenants;
· changes in real estate taxes and other expenses;
· whether tenants and users such as customers and shoppers consider a property attractive;
· the financial condition of our tenants, including the extent of tenant bankruptcies or defaults;
· availability of financing on acceptable terms or at all;
· fluctuations in interest rates;
· our ability to secure adequate insurance;
· changes in taxation;
· changes in zoning laws;
· government regulation;
· consequences of any armed conflict involving, or terrorist attack against, the United States;
· natural disasters;
· potential liability under environmental or other laws or regulations; and
· general competitive factors.
The rents we receive and the occupancy levels at our properties may decline as a result of adverse changes in any of these factors. If rental revenues and/or occupancy levels decline, we generally would expect to have less cash available to pay indebtedness and for distribution to unitholders. In addition, some of our major expenses, including mortgage payments, real estate taxes and maintenance costs, generally do not decline when the related rents decline.
Capital markets and economic conditions can materially affect our financial condition and results of operations and the value of our debt and equity securities.
There are many factors that can affect the value of our debt and equity securities, including the state of the capital markets and the economy, which have recently negatively affected substantially all businesses, including ours. Demand for office and retail space has declined nationwide due to bankruptcies, downsizing, layoffs and cost cutting. Real estate transactions and development opportunities have significantly curtailed and capitalization rates have risen. As a result, the cost and availability of credit has been and may continue to be adversely affected by illiquid credit markets and wider credit spreads. Concern about the stability of the markets generally and the strength of counterparties specifically has led many lenders and institutional investors to reduce, and in some cases, cease to provide funding to borrowers, and this may adversely affect our liquidity and financial condition, and the liquidity and financial condition of our tenants. If these market conditions continue, they may limit our ability and the ability of our tenants, to timely refinance maturing liabilities and access the capital markets to meet liquidity needs which may materially affect our financial condition and results of operations and the value of our debt and equity securities.
Real estate is a competitive business.
Our business segments New York Office Properties, Washington, DC Office Properties, Retail Properties, Merchandise Mart Properties, Toys and Other operate in highly competitive environments. We have a large concentration of properties in the New York City metropolitan area and in the Washington, DC / Northern Virginia areas. We compete with a large number of property owners and developers, some of which may be willing to accept lower returns on their investments. Principal factors of competition are rents charged, attractiveness of location, the quality of the property and the breadth and quality of services provided. Our success depends upon, among other factors, trends of the national, regional and local economies, financial condition and operating results of current and prospective tenants and customers, availability and cost of capital, construction and renovation costs, taxes, governmental regulation, legislation and population trends.
We depend on leasing space to tenants on economically favorable terms and collecting rent from tenants who may not be able to pay.
Our financial results depend significantly on leasing space in our properties to tenants on economically favorable terms. In addition, because a substantial majority of our income comes from renting of real property, our income, funds available to pay indebtedness and funds available for distribution to shareholders will decrease if a significant number of our tenants cannot pay their rent or if we are not able to maintain occupancy levels on favorable terms. If a tenant does not pay its rent, we may not be able to enforce our rights as landlord without delays and may incur substantial legal costs. During periods of economic adversity such as we are currently experiencing, there may be an increase in the number of tenants that cannot pay their rent and an increase in vacancy rates.
Bankruptcy or insolvency of tenants may decrease our revenues and available cash.
From time to time, some of our tenants have declared bankruptcy, and other tenants may declare bankruptcy or become insolvent in the future. In the case of our shopping centers, the bankruptcy or insolvency of a major tenant could cause us to suffer lower revenues and operational difficulties, including leasing the remainder of the property. As a result, the bankruptcy or insolvency of a major tenant could result in a lower level of net income and funds available for the payment of indebtedness or for distribution to unitholders. The current economic environment and market conditions may result in tenant bankruptcies and write-offs, which could, in the aggregate, be material to our results of operations in a particular period.
We may incur costs to comply with environmental laws.
Our operations and properties are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations concerning the protection of the environment, including air and water quality, hazardous or toxic substances and health and safety. Under some environmental laws, a current or previous owner or operator of real estate may be required to investigate and clean up hazardous or toxic substances released at a property. The owner or operator may also be held liable to a governmental entity or to third parties for property damage or personal injuries and for investigation and clean-up costs incurred by those parties because of the contamination. These laws often impose liability without regard to whether the owner or operator knew of the release of the substances or caused the release. The presence of contamination or the failure to remediate contamination may impair our ability to sell or lease real estate or to borrow using the real estate as collateral. Other laws and regulations govern indoor and outdoor air quality including those that can require the abatement or removal of asbestos-containing materials in the event of damage, demolition, renovation or remodeling and also govern emissions of and exposure to asbestos fibers in the air. The maintenance and removal of lead paint and certain electrical equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and underground storage tanks are also regulated by federal and state laws. We are also subject to risks associated with human exposure to chemical or biological contaminants such as molds, pollens, viruses and bacteria which, above certain levels, can be alleged to be connected to allergic or other health effects and symptoms in susceptible individuals. We could incur fines for environmental compliance and be held liable for the costs of remedial action with respect to the foregoing regulated substances or tanks or related claims arising out of environmental contamination or human exposure to contamination at or from our properties.
Each of our properties has been subject to varying degrees of environmental assessment. The environmental assessments did not, as of this date, reveal any environmental condition material to our business. However, identification of new compliance concerns or undiscovered areas of contamination, changes in the extent or known scope of contamination, discovery of additional sites, human exposure to the contamination or changes in clean-up or compliance requirements could result in significant costs to us.
Inflation or deflation may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Although neither inflation nor deflation has materially impacted our operations in the recent past, increased inflation could have a pronounced negative impact on our mortgages and interest rates and general and administrative expenses, as these costs could increase at a rate higher than our rents. Inflation could also have an adverse effect on consumer spending which could impact our tenants sales and, in turn, our percentage rents, where applicable. Conversely, deflation could lead to downward pressure on rents and other sources of income. In addition, we own 9 residential properties which are leased to tenants with one-year lease terms. Because these are short-term leases, declines in market rents will impact our residential properties faster than if the leases were for longer terms.
Some of our potential losses may not be covered by insurance.
We maintain general liability insurance with limits of $300,000,000 per occurrence and all risk property and rental value insurance with limits of $2.0 billion per occurrence, including coverage for terrorist acts, with sub-limits for certain perils such as floods. Our California properties have earthquake insurance with coverage of $150,000,000 per occurrence, subject to a deductible in the amount of 5% of the value of the affected property, and a $150,000,000 annual aggregate.
Penn Plaza Insurance Company, LLC (PPIC), our wholly owned consolidated subsidiary, acts as a re-insurer with respect to a portion of our earthquake insurance coverage and as a direct insurer for coverage for acts of terrorism, including nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological (NBCR) acts, as defined by TRIPRA. Coverage for acts of terrorism (excluding NBCR acts) is fully reinsured by third party insurance companies and the Federal government with no exposure to PPIC. Our coverage for NBCR losses is up to $2 billion per occurrence, for which PPIC is responsible for a deductible of $3,200,000 and 15% of the balance of a covered loss and the Federal government is responsible for the remaining 85% of a covered loss. We are ultimately responsible for any loss borne by PPIC.
We continue to monitor the state of the insurance market and the scope and costs of coverage for acts of terrorism. However, we cannot anticipate what coverage will be available on commercially reasonable terms in future policy years.
Our debt instruments, consisting of mortgage loans secured by our properties which are non-recourse to us, senior unsecured notes, exchangeable senior debentures, convertible senior debentures and revolving credit agreements, contain customary covenants requiring us to maintain insurance. Although we believe that we have adequate insurance coverage for purposes of these agreements, we may not be able to obtain an equivalent amount of coverage at reasonable costs in the future. Further, if lenders insist on greater coverage than we are able to obtain it could adversely affect our ability to finance and/or refinance our properties and expand our portfolio.
Because we operate a hotel, we face the risks associated with the hospitality industry.
We own and operate the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. The following factors, among others, are common to the hotel industry and may reduce the revenues generated by the hotel, which would reduce cash available for distribution to our unitholders:
· our hotel competes for guests with other hotels, a number of which have greater marketing and financial resources;
· if there is an increase in operating costs resulting from inflation and other factors, we may not be able to offset such increase by increasing room rates;
· our hotel is subject to the fluctuating and seasonal demands of business travelers and tourism;
· our hotel is subject to general and local economic and social conditions that may affect demand for travel in general, including war and terrorism; and
· physical condition, which may require substantial additional capital.
Because of the ownership structure of the Hotel Pennsylvania, we face potential adverse effects from changes to the applicable tax laws.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, REITs like Vornado are not allowed to operate hotels directly or indirectly. Accordingly, we lease the Hotel Pennsylvania to our taxable REIT subsidiary (TRS). While the TRS structure allows the economic benefits of ownership to flow to us, the TRS is subject to tax on its income from the operations of the hotel at the federal and state level. In addition, the TRS is subject to detailed tax regulations that affect how it may be capitalized and operated. If the tax laws applicable to a TRS are modified, we may be forced to modify the structure for owning the hotel, and such changes may adversely affect the cash flows from the hotel. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Treasury Department and Congress frequently review federal income tax legislation, and we cannot predict whether, when or to what extent new federal tax laws, regulations, interpretations or rulings will be adopted. Any of such actions may prospectively or retroactively modify the tax treatment of the TRS and, therefore, may adversely affect our after-tax returns from the hotel.
The Americans with Disabilities Act generally requires that public buildings, including our properties, be made accessible to disabled persons. Noncompliance could result in the imposition of fines by the federal government or the award of damages to private litigants. From time to time persons have asserted claims against us with respect to some of our properties under this Act, but to date such claims have not resulted in any material expense or liability. If, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, we are required to make substantial alterations and capital expenditures in one or more of our properties, including the removal of access barriers, it could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations, as well as the amount of cash available for distribution to unitholders.
Our properties are subject to various federal, state and local regulatory requirements, such as state and local fire and life safety requirements. If we fail to comply with these requirements, we could incur fines or private damage awards. We do not know whether existing requirements will change or whether compliance with future requirements will require significant unanticipated expenditures that will affect our cash flow and results of operations.
Our Investments Are Concentrated in the New York CITY METROPOLITAN AREA and Washington, DC / NORTHERN VIRGINIA Areas. Circumstances Affecting These Areas Generally Could Adversely Affect Our Business.
A significant portion of our properties are in the New York City / New Jersey metropolitan areas and Washington, DC / Northern Virginia areas are affected by the economic cycles and risks inherent to those areas.
During 2009, approximately 75% of our EBITDA, excluding items that affect comparability, came from properties located in the New York City / New Jersey metropolitan areas and the Washington, DC / Northern Virginia areas. We may continue to concentrate a significant portion of our future acquisitions in these areas or in other geographic real estate markets in the United States or abroad. Real estate markets are subject to economic downturns, as they are currently and have been in the past, and we cannot predict how economic conditions will impact these markets in both the short and long term. Declines in the economy or a decline in the real estate markets in these areas could hurt our financial performance and the value of our properties. The factors affecting economic conditions in these regions include:
· financial performance and productivity of the publishing, advertising, financial, technology, retail, insurance and
· space needs of the United States Government, including the effect of base closures and repositioning under the
· business layoffs or downsizing;
· industry slowdowns;
· relocations of businesses;
· changing demographics;
· increased telecommuting and use of alternative work places;
· infrastructure quality; and
· any oversupply of, or reduced demand for, real estate.
It is impossible for us to assess with certainty, the future effects of the current adverse trends in the economic and investment climates of the geographic areas in which we concentrate, and more generally of the United States, or the real estate markets in these areas. If these conditions persist or if there is any further local, national or global economic downturn, our businesses and future profitability will be adversely affected.
Terrorist attacks, such as those of September 11, 2001 in New York City and the Washington, DC area, may adversely affect the value of our properties and our ability to generate cash flow.
We have significant investments in large metropolitan areas, including the New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco metropolitan areas. In the aftermath of a terrorist attack, tenants in these areas may choose to relocate their businesses to less populated, lower-profile areas of the United States that may be perceived to be less likely targets of future terrorist activity and fewer customers may choose to patronize businesses in these areas. This, in turn, would trigger a decrease in the demand for space in these areas, which could increase vacancies in our properties and force us to lease space on less favorable terms. As a result, the value of our properties and the level of our revenues and cash flows could decline materially.
We May Acquire or Sell Additional Assets or Entities or Develop Additional Properties. Our Failure or Inability to Consummate These Transactions or Manage the Results of These Transactions Could Adversely Affect Our Operations and Financial Results.
We have grown rapidly since 1998 through acquisitions. We may not be able to maintain this rapid growth and our failure to do so could adversely affect Vornados stock price and the value of our Class A units.
We have experienced rapid growth since 1998, increasing our total assets from approximately $4.4 billion at December 31, 1998 to approximately $20.2 billion at December 31, 2009. We may not be able to maintain a similar rate of growth in the future or manage growth effectively. Our failure to do so may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations, ability to pay distributions to unitholders, Vornados stock price and the value of our Class A units.
We may acquire or develop properties or acquire other real estate related companies and this may create risks.
We may acquire or develop properties or acquire other real estate related companies when we believe that an acquisition or development is consistent with our business strategies. We may not, however, succeed in consummating desired acquisitions or in completing developments on time or within budget. In addition, we may face competition in pursuing acquisition or development opportunities that could increase our costs. When we do pursue a project or acquisition, we may not succeed in leasing newly developed or acquired properties at rents sufficient to cover our costs of acquisition and development or in operating the businesses we acquired. Difficulties in integrating acquisitions may prove costly or time-consuming and could divert managements attention. Acquisitions or developments in new markets or industries where we do not have the same level of market knowledge may result in poorer than anticipated performance. We may also abandon acquisition or development opportunities that we have begun pursuing and consequently fail to recover expenses already incurred and have devoted management time to a matter not consummated. Furthermore, acquisitions of new properties or companies will expose us to the liabilities of those properties or companies, some of which we may not be aware at the time of acquisition. In addition, development of our existing properties presents similar risks.
From time to time we have made, and in the future we may seek to make, one or more material acquisitions. The announcement of such a material acquisition may result in a rapid and significant decline in the price of Vornados common shares and the value of our Class A units.
We are continuously looking at material transactions that we will believe will maximize Vornados shareholder value. However, an announcement by us of one or more significant acquisitions could result in a quick and significant decline in the price of Vornados common shares and our Class A units.
It may be difficult to buy and sell real estate quickly.
Real estate investments are relatively difficult to buy and sell quickly. Consequently, we may have limited ability to vary our portfolio promptly in response to changes in economic or other conditions.
We may not be permitted to dispose of certain properties or pay down the debt associated with those properties when we might otherwise desire to do so without incurring additional costs.
As part of an acquisition of a property, including our January 1, 2002 acquisition of Charles E. Smith Commercial Realty L.P.s 13.0 million square foot portfolio, we may agree, and in the case of Charles E. Smith Commercial Realty L.P. did agree, with the seller that we will not dispose of the acquired properties or reduce the mortgage indebtedness on them for a period of 12 years, unless we pay certain of the resulting tax costs of the seller. These agreements could result in us holding on to properties that we would otherwise sell and not pay down or refinance indebtedness that we would otherwise pay down or refinance.
On January 1, 2002, we completed the acquisition of the 66% interest in Charles E. Smith Commercial Realty L.P. that we did not previously own. The terms of the merger restrict our ability to sell or otherwise dispose of, or to finance or refinance, the properties formerly owned by Charles E. Smith Commercial Realty L.P., which could result in our inability to sell these properties at an opportune time and increase costs to us.
As indicated above, subject to limited exceptions, we are restricted from selling or otherwise transferring or disposing of certain properties located in the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia for a period of 12 years. These restrictions, which currently cover approximately 13.0 million square feet of space, could result in our inability to sell these properties at an opportune time and increase costs to us.
From time to time we make investments in companies over which we do not have sole control. Some of these companies operate in industries that differ from our current operations, with different risks than investing in real estate.
From time to time we make debt or equity investments in other companies that we may not control or over which we may not have sole control. These investments include but are not limited to, Alexanders, Inc., Toys R Us, Lexington Realty Trust, and equity and mezzanine investments in other entities that have significant real estate assets. Although these businesses generally have a significant real estate component, some of them operate in businesses that are different from our primary lines of business including, without limitation, operating or managing toy stores and department stores. Consequently, investments in these businesses, among other risks, subjects us to the operating and financial risks of industries other than real estate and to the risk that we do not have sole control over the operations of these businesses. From time to time we may make additional investments in or acquire other entities that may subject us to additional similar risks. Investments in entities over which we do not have sole control, including joint ventures, present additional risks such as having differing objectives than our partners or the entities in which we invest, or becoming involved in disputes, or competing with those persons. In addition, we rely on the internal controls and financial reporting controls of these entities and their failure to comply with applicable standards may adversely affect us.
We are subject to risks that affect the general retail environment.
A substantial portion of our properties are in the retail shopping center real estate market and we have a significant investment in retailers such as Toys. See Our investment in Toys subjects us to risks different from our other lines of business and may result in increased seasonality and volatility in our reported earnings below. This means that we are subject to factors that affect the retail environment generally, including the level of consumer spending and consumer confidence, the threat of terrorism and increasing competition from discount retailers, outlet malls, retail websites and catalog companies. These factors could adversely affect the financial condition of our retail tenants and the retailers in which we hold an investment and the willingness of retailers to lease space in our shopping centers, and in turn, adversely affect us.
We depend upon our anchor tenants to attract shoppers.
We own several regional malls and other shopping centers that are typically anchored by well-known department stores and other tenants who generate shopping traffic at the mall or shopping center. The value of our properties would be adversely affected if tenants or anchors failed to meet their contractual obligations, sought concessions in order to continue operations or ceased their operations, including as a result of bankruptcy. If the sales of stores operating in our properties were to decline significantly due to economic conditions, closing of anchors or for other reasons, tenants may be unable to pay their minimum rents or expense recovery charges. In the event of a default by a tenant or anchor, we may experience delays and costs in enforcing our rights as landlord.
Our investment in Toys subjects us to risks that are different from our other lines of business and may result in increased seasonality and volatility in our reported earnings.
On July 21, 2005, a joint venture that we own equally with Bain Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. acquired Toys. Because Toys is a retailer, its operations subject us to the risks of a retail company that are different than those presented by our other lines of business. The business of Toys is highly seasonal. Historically, Toys fourth quarter net income accounts for more than 80% of its fiscal year net income. In addition, our fiscal year ends on December 31 whereas, as is common for retailers, Toys fiscal year ends on the Saturday nearest to January 31. Therefore, we record our pro-rata share of Toys net earnings on a one-quarter lag basis. For example, our financial results for the year ended December 31, 2009 include Toys financial results for its first, second and third quarters ended October 31, 2009, as well as Toys fourth quarter results of 2008. Because of the seasonality of Toys, our reported net income shows increased volatility. We may also, in the future and from time to time, invest in other businesses that may report financial results that are more volatile than our historical financial results.
Our decision to dispose of real estate assets would change the holding period assumption in our valuation analyses, which could result in material impairment losses and adversely affect our financial results.
We evaluate real estate assets for impairment based on the projected cash flow of the asset over our anticipated holding period. If we change our intended holding period, due to our intention to sell or otherwise dispose of an asset, then under generally accepted accounting principles we must reevaluate whether that asset is impaired. Depending on the carrying value of the property at the time we change our intention and the amount that we estimate we would receive on disposal, we may record an impairment loss that would adversely affect our financial results. This loss could be material to our results of operations in the period that it is recognized.
We invest in subordinated or mezzanine debt of certain entities that have significant real estate assets. These investments involve greater risk of loss than investments in senior mortgage loans.
We invest, and may in the future invest, in subordinated or mezzanine debt of certain entities that have significant real estate assets. These investments, which are subordinate to the mortgage loans secured by the real property, are generally secured by pledges of the equity interests of the entities owning the underlying real estate. These investments involve greater risk of loss than investments in senior mortgage loans which are secured by real property. If a borrower defaults on debt to us or on debt senior to us, or declares bankruptcy, we may not be able to recover some or all of our investment. In addition, there may be significant delays and costs associated with the process of foreclosing on collateral securing or supporting these investments. The value of the assets securing or supporting our investments could deteriorate over time due to factors beyond our control, including acts or omissions by owners, changes in business, economic or market conditions, or foreclosure. Such deteriorations in value may result in the recognition of impairment losses and/or valuation allowances on our statements of income. As of December 31, 2009, our mezzanine debt securities have an aggregate carrying amount of $203,286,000, net of a $190,738,000 valuation allowance.
We evaluate the collectibility of both interest and principal of each of our loans each quarter, if circumstances warrant, in determining whether they are impaired. A loan is impaired when based on current information and events, it is probable that we will be unable to collect all amounts due according to the existing contractual terms. When a loan is impaired, the amount of the loss accrual is calculated by comparing the carrying amount of the investment to the estimated fair value of the loan or, as a practical expedient, to the value of the collateral if repayment of the loan is collateral dependent. There can be no assurance that our estimates of collectible amounts will not change over time or that they will be representative of the amounts we will actually collect, including amounts we would collect if we chose to sell these investments before their maturity. If we collect less than our estimates, we will record impairment losses which could be material.
We invest in marketable equity securities of companies that have significant real estate assets. The value of these investments may decline as a result of operating performance or economic or market conditions.
We invest, and may in the future invest, in marketable equity securities of publicly-traded real estate companies or companies that have significant real estate assets. As of December 31, 2009, our marketable securities have an aggregate carrying amount of $380,652,000. Significant declines in the value of these investments due to operating performance or economic or market conditions may result in the recognition of impairment losses which could be material.
VORNADOs Organizational and Financial Structure Gives Rise to Operational and Financial Risks.
We May Not Be Able to Obtain Capital to Make Investments.
We depend primarily on external financing to fund the growth of our business. This is because one of the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, for a REIT, like Vornado, is that it distributes 90% of its net taxable income, excluding net capital gains, to its shareholders. There is a separate requirement to distribute net capital gains or pay a corporate level tax in lieu thereof. Our access to debt or equity financing depends on the willingness of third parties to lend or make equity investments and on conditions in the capital markets generally. As a result of the current capital markets and environmental conditions referred to above, we and other companies in the real estate industry are currently experiencing limited availability of financing and there can be no assurances as to when more financing will be available. Although we believe that we will be able to finance any investments we may wish to make in the foreseeable future, new financing may not be available on acceptable terms.
For information about our available sources of funds, see Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Liquidity and Capital Resources and the notes to the consolidated financial statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We depend on dividends and distributions from our direct and indirect subsidiaries. The creditors and preferred security holders of these subsidiaries are entitled to amounts payable to them by the subsidiaries before the subsidiaries may pay any dividends or distributions to us.
Our cash flow is dependent on cash distributions to us by our subsidiaries. The creditors of each of our direct and indirect subsidiaries are entitled to payment of that subsidiarys obligations to them, when due and payable, before distributions may be made by that subsidiary to its equity holders. Thus, our ability to make distributions to unitholders depends on our subsidiaries ability first to satisfy their obligations to their creditors and then to make distributions to us.
Furthermore, holders of our preferred units are entitled to receive preferred distributions before payment of distributions to our Class A unitholders, including Vornado. In addition, our participation in any distribution of the assets of any of our direct or indirect subsidiaries upon the liquidation, reorganization or insolvency, is only after the claims of the creditors, including trade creditors and preferred security holders, are satisfied.
We have outstanding debt, and it and its cost may increase and refinancing may not be available on acceptable terms.
As of December 31, 2009, we had approximately $14.1 billion of total debt outstanding, including our pro rata share of debt of partially owned entities. Vornados ratio of total debt to total enterprise value was approximately 47%. When we say enterprise value in the preceding sentence, we mean market equity value of Vornado Realty Trusts common and preferred shares plus total debt outstanding, including our pro rata share of debt of partially owned entities. In the future, we may incur additional debt to finance acquisitions or property developments and thus increase Vornados ratio of total debt to total enterprise value. If our level of indebtedness increases, there may be an increased risk of a credit rating downgrade or a default on our obligations that could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, in a rising interest rate environment, the cost of existing variable rate debt and any new debt or other market rate security or instrument may increase. Furthermore, we may not be able to refinance existing indebtedness in sufficient amounts or on acceptable terms.
Covenants in our debt instruments could adversely affect our financial condition and our acquisitions and development activities.
The mortgages on our properties contain customary covenants such as those that limit our ability, without the prior consent of the lender, to further mortgage the applicable property or to discontinue insurance coverage. Our unsecured credit facilities, unsecured debt securities and other loans that we may obtain in the future contain, or may contain, customary restrictions, requirements and other limitations on our ability to incur indebtedness, including covenants that limit our ability to incur debt based upon the level of our ratio of total debt to total assets, our ratio of secured debt to total assets, our ratio of EBITDA to interest expense, and fixed charges, and that require us to maintain a certain level of unencumbered assets to unsecured debt. Our ability to borrow is subject to compliance with these and other covenants. In addition, failure to comply with our covenants could cause a default under the applicable debt instrument, and we may then be required to repay such debt with capital from other sources. Under those circumstances, other sources of capital may not be available to us, or may be available only on unattractive terms.
We rely on debt financing, including borrowings under our unsecured credit facilities, issuances of unsecured debt securities and debt secured by individual properties, to finance acquisitions and development activities and for working capital. If we are unable to obtain debt financing from these or other sources, or refinance existing indebtedness upon maturity, our financial condition and results of operations would likely be adversely affected. If we breach covenants in our debt agreements, the lenders can declare a default and, if the debt is secured, can take possession of the property securing the defaulted loan.
Vornado Realty Trust may fail to qualify or remain qualified as a REIT and may be required to pay income taxes at corporate rates.
Although we believe that Vornado will remain organized and will continue to operate so as to qualify as a REIT for federal income tax purposes, Vornado may fail to remain qualified in this way. Qualification as a REIT for federal income tax purposes is governed by highly technical and complex provisions of the Internal Revenue Code for which there are only limited judicial or administrative interpretations. Vornados qualification as a REIT also depends on various facts and circumstances that are not entirely within our control. In addition, legislation, new regulations, administrative interpretations or court decisions may significantly change the tax laws with respect to the requirements for qualification as a REIT or the federal income tax consequences of qualifying as a REIT.
If, with respect to any taxable year, Vornado fails to maintain its qualification as a REIT and does not qualify under statutory relief provisions, Vornado may undertake a restructuring or other actions that may affecting us. Although Vornado intends to operate in a manner designed to allow it to qualify as a REIT, future economic, market, legal, tax or other considerations may cause Vornado to revoke the REIT election or fail to qualify as a REIT.
We face possible adverse changes in tax laws, which may result in an increase in our tax liability.
From time to time changes in state and local tax laws or regulations are enacted, which may result in an increase in our tax liability. The shortfall in tax revenues for states and municipalities in recent years may lead to an increase in the frequency and size of such changes. If such changes occur, we may be required to pay additional taxes on our assets or income. These increased tax costs could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations and the amount of cash available for payment of distributions.
Loss of Vornados key personnel could harm our operations and adversely affect the value of Vornados common shares and our Class A units.
We are dependent on the efforts of Steven Roth, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Vornado, and Michael D. Fascitelli, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Vornado. While we believe that we could find replacements for these key personnel, the loss of their services could harm our operations and adversely affect the value of our equity.
Vornados charter documents and applicable law may hinder any attempt to acquire it or us, because VOrnado is our sole general partner.
Vornados Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust sets limits on the ownership of Vornados shares.
Generally, for Vornado to maintain its qualification as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code, not more than 50% in value of the outstanding shares of beneficial interest of Vornado may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals at any time during the last half of Vornados taxable year. The Internal Revenue Code defines individuals for purposes of the requirement described in the preceding sentence to include some types of entities. Under Vornado Realty Trusts Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust, as amended, no person may own more than 6.7% of the outstanding common shares of any class, or 9.9% of the outstanding preferred shares of any class, with some exceptions for persons who held common shares in excess of the 6.7% limit before Vornado adopted the limit and other persons approved by Vornados Board of Trustees. These restrictions on transferability and ownership may delay, deter or prevent a change in control of Vornado or other transaction that might involve a premium price or otherwise be in the best interest of Vornados shareholders or our unitholders. We refer to Vornados Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust, as amended, as the declaration of trust.
Vornado has a classified Board of Trustees and that may reduce the likelihood of certain takeover transactions.
Vornados Board of Trustees is divided into three classes of trustees. Trustees of each class are chosen for three-year staggered terms. Staggered terms of trustees may reduce the possibility of a tender offer or an attempt to change control of Vornado, even though a tender offer or change in control might be in the best interest of Vornados shareholders or our unitholders.
Vornado may issue additional shares in a manner that could adversely affect the likelihood of certain takeover transactions.
Vornados declaration of trust authorizes the Board of Trustees to:
· cause Vornado to issue additional authorized but unissued common shares or preferred shares;
· classify or reclassify, in one or more series, any unissued preferred shares;
· set the preferences, rights and other terms of any classified or reclassified shares that it issues; and
· increase, without shareholder approval, the number of shares of beneficial interest that it may issue.
Vornados Board of Trustees could establish a series of preferred shares whose terms could delay, deter or prevent a change in control of Vornado or other transaction that might involve a premium price or otherwise be in the best interest of Vornados shareholders or our unitholders, although the Board of Trustees does not now intend to establish a series of preferred shares of this kind. Vornados declaration of trust and bylaws contain other provisions that may delay, deter or prevent a change in control or other transaction that might involve a premium price or otherwise be in the best interest of Vornados shareholders or our unitholders.
The Maryland General Corporation Law contains provisions that may reduce the likelihood of certain takeover transactions.
Under the Maryland General Corporation Law, as amended, which we refer to as the MGCL, as applicable to REITs, certain business combinations, including certain mergers, consolidations, share exchanges and asset transfers and certain issuances and reclassifications of equity securities, between a Maryland REIT and any person who beneficially owns ten percent or more of the voting power of the trusts shares or an affiliate or an associate, as defined in the MGCL, of the trust who, at any time within the two-year period before the date in question, was the beneficial owner of ten percent or more of the voting power of the then outstanding voting shares of beneficial interest of the trust, which we refer to as an interested shareholder, or an affiliate of the interested shareholder, are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the interested shareholder becomes an interested shareholder. After that five-year period, any business combination of these kinds must be recommended by the board of trustees of the trust and approved by the affirmative vote of at least (a) 80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding voting shares of beneficial interest of the trust and (b) two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of voting shares of beneficial interest of the trust other than shares held by the interested shareholder with whom, or with whose affiliate, the business combination is to be effected or held by an affiliate or associate of the interested shareholder. These supermajority voting requirements do not apply if the trusts common shareholders receive a minimum price, as defined in the MGCL, for their shares and the consideration is received in cash or in the same form as previously paid by the interested shareholder for its common shares.
The provisions of the MGCL do not apply, however, to business combinations that are approved or exempted by the board of trustees of the applicable trust before the interested shareholder becomes an interested shareholder, and a person is not an interested shareholder if the board of trustees approved in advance the transaction by which the person otherwise would have become an interested shareholder.
In approving a transaction, the Board may provide that its approval is subject to compliance, at or after the time of approval, with any terms and conditions determined by the Board. Vornados Board has adopted a resolution exempting any business combination between any trustee or officer of Vornado, or their affiliates, and Vornado. As a result, the trustees and officers of Vornado and their affiliates may be able to enter into business combinations with Vornado that may not be in the best interest of its shareholders or our unitholders. With respect to business combinations with other persons, the business combination provisions of the MGCL may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of Vornado or other transaction that might involve a premium price or otherwise be in the best interest of its shareholders or our unitholders. The business combination statute may discourage others from trying to acquire control of Vornado and increase the difficulty of consummating any offer.
We may change our policies without obtaining the approval of our unitholders.
Our operating and financial policies, including our policies with respect to acquisitions of real estate or other companies, growth, operations, indebtedness, capitalization and distributions, are exclusively determined by Vornados Board of Trustees. Accordingly, our unitholders do not control these policies.
Our Ownership Structure and Related-Party Transactions May Give Rise to Conflicts of Interest.
Steven Roth and Interstate Properties may exercise substantial influence over us. They and some of Vornados other trustees and officers have interests or positions in other entities that may compete with us.
As of December 31, 2009, Interstate Properties, a New Jersey general partnership, and its partners owned approximately 7.3% of the common shares of Vornado and approximately 27.2% of the common stock of Alexanders, Inc. (Alexanders), which is described below. Steven Roth, David Mandelbaum and Russell B. Wight, Jr. are the three partners of Interstate Properties. Mr. Roth is the Chairman of the Board of Vornado, the managing general partner of Interstate Properties and the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Alexanders. Messrs. Wight and Mandelbaum are trustees of Vornado and also directors of Alexanders.
Because of these overlapping interests, Mr. Roth and Interstate Properties and its partners may have substantial influence over Vornado and on the outcome of any matters submitted to Vornados shareholders for approval. In addition, certain decisions concerning our operations or financial structure may present conflicts of interest among Messrs. Roth, Mandelbaum and Wight and Interstate Properties and our other equity or debt holders. In addition, Mr. Roth, Interstate Properties and its partners, and Alexanders currently and may in the future engage in a wide variety of activities in the real estate business which may result in conflicts of interest with respect to matters affecting us, such as which of these entities or persons, if any, may take advantage of potential business opportunities, the business focus of these entities, the types of properties and geographic locations in which these entities make investments, potential competition between business activities conducted, or sought to be conducted, competition for properties and tenants, possible corporate transactions such as acquisitions and other strategic decisions affecting the future of these entities.
We currently manage and lease the real estate assets of Interstate Properties under a management agreement for which we receive an annual fee equal to 4% of base rent and percentage rent and certain other commissions. The management agreement has a term of one year and is automatically renewable unless terminated by either of the parties on 60 days notice at the end of the term. We earned $782,000, $803,000, and $800,000 of management fees under the management agreement for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007. Because of the relationship among Vornado, Interstate Properties and Messrs. Roth, Mandelbaum and Wight, as described above, the terms of the management agreement and any future agreements between us and Interstate Properties may not be comparable to those we could have negotiated with an unaffiliated third party.
There may be conflicts of interest between Alexanders and us.
As of December 31, 2009, we owned 32.4% of the outstanding common stock of Alexanders. Alexanders is a REIT engaged in leasing, managing, developing and redeveloping properties, focusing primarily on the locations where its department stores operated before they ceased operations in 1992. Alexanders has seven properties, which are located in the greater New York metropolitan area. In addition to the 32.4% that they own indirectly through Vornado, Interstate Properties, which is described above, and its partners owned 27.2% of the outstanding common stock of Alexanders as of December 31, 2009. Mr. Roth is the Chairman of the Board of Vornado, the managing general partner of Interstate, and the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Alexanders. Messrs. Wight and Mandelbaum are trustees of Vornado and also directors of Alexanders and general partners of Interstate. Michael D. Fascitelli is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Vornado and the President of Alexanders and Dr. Richard West is a trustee of Vornado and a director of Alexanders. In addition, Joseph Macnow, Vornados Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, holds the same position with Alexanders. Alexanders common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ALX.
We manage, develop and lease Alexanders properties under management and development agreements and leasing agreements under which we receive annual fees from Alexanders. These agreements have a one-year term expiring in March of each year and are all automatically renewable. Because Vornado and Alexanders share common senior management and because certain of the trustees of Vornado constitute a majority of the directors of Alexanders, the terms of the foregoing agreements and any future agreements between us and Alexanders may not be comparable to those we could have negotiated with an unaffiliated third party.
For a description of Interstate Properties ownership of Vornado and Alexanders, see Steven Roth and Interstate Properties may exercise substantial influence over us. They and some of Vornados other trustees and officers have interests or positions in other entities that may compete with us above.
The Number of Shares of Vornado and the Market for Those Shares Give Rise to Various Risks.
The trading price of Vornados common shares has recently been volatile and may fluctuate.
The trading price of Vornados common shares has recently been volatile and may continue to fluctuate widely as a result of a number of factors, many of which are outside our control. In addition, the stock market is subject to fluctuations in the share prices and trading volumes that affect the market prices of the shares of many companies. These broad market fluctuations have adversely affected and may continue to adversely affect the market price of Vornados common shares and the redemption price of our Class A units. Among these factors are:
· actual or anticipated quarterly fluctuations in our operating results and financial condition;
· the reputation of REITs and real estate investments generally and the attractiveness of REIT equity securities in
· continued uncertainty and volatility in the equity and credit markets;
· changes in revenue or earnings estimates or publication of research reports and recommendations by financial
· failure to meet analysts revenue or earnings estimates;
· speculation in the press or investment community;
· strategic actions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions or restructurings;
· the extent of institutional interest in us;
· the extent of short-selling of Vornados common shares and the shares of our competitors;
· fluctuations in the stock price and operating results of our competitors;
· general financial and economic market conditions and, in particular, developments related to market conditions
· domestic and international economic factors unrelated to our performance.
A significant decline in Vornados stock price could result in substantial losses for its shareholders and our unitholders.
Vornado has many shares available for future sale, which could hurt the market price of its shares and the redemption price of our units.
As of December 31, 2009, Vornado had authorized but unissued, 68,785,839 common shares of beneficial interest, $.04 par value and 76,047,676 preferred shares of beneficial interest, no par value; of which 34,058,475 common shares are reserved for issuance upon redemption of our Class A units, convertible securities and employee stock options and 8,000,000 preferred shares are reserved for issuance upon redemption of our preferred units. Any shares not reserved may be issued from time to time in public or private offerings or in connection with acquisitions. In addition, common and preferred shares reserved may be sold upon issuance in the public market after registration under the Securities Act or under Rule 144 under the Securities Act or other available exemptions from registration. We cannot predict the effect that future sales of Vornados common and preferred shares or our Class A and preferred units will have on the market or redemption prices of our outstanding securities.
Increased market interest rates may hurt the value of Vornados common and preferred shares and our units.
We believe that investors consider the distribution rate on REIT shares, expressed as a percentage of the price of the shares, relative to market interest rates as an important factor in deciding whether to buy or sell the shares. If market interest rates go up, prospective purchasers of REIT shares may expect a higher distribution rate. Higher interest rates would likely increase our borrowing costs and might decrease funds available for distribution. Thus, higher market interest rates could cause a decline in the market price of Vornados common and preferred shares and the redemption price of our units.
Item 1b. unresolved staff comments
There are no unresolved comments from the staff of the Securities Exchange Commission as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Item 2. Properties
We operate in five business segments: New York Office Properties, Washington, DC Office Properties, Retail Properties, Merchandise Mart Properties and Toys R Us (Toys). The following pages provide details of our real estate properties.
Item 2. Properties - continued
Item 2. Properties - continued