Market underestimates value of retail by an “enormous number”: Steve Roth

REIT owns roughly 2.5 million square feet of urban "street retail"

Vornado's Steven Roth
Vornado's Steven Roth

The most undervalued part of Vornado Realty Trust’s portfolio is the firm’s urban retail, according to Vornado chairman and founder Steven Roth.

“This is just one man’s opinion that the market underestimates the value of that retail buy at an enormous number, double-digit number,” Roth said during a Citigroup investor conference last week, according to a transcript cited by the Wall Street Journal.

“Here’s a musing for you,” Roth wrote in Vornado’s 2o13 annual report about the possibility of making retail a separate company. “Probably will never happen, but such a company would be unique and undoubtedly be the highest growth, highest quality, highest multiple real estate entity in REITland.”

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It’s still unclear what Roth’s plans are for the 2.5 million square feet of urban “street retail” Vornado owns in the bases of its Manhattan office buildings, according to the newspaper.

In June, Vornado Realty Trust and Crown Acquisitions paid $700 million for 24,700 square feet of retail space and air rights at the St. Regis Hotel and a neighboring townhouse. [WSJ] — Claire Moses