REIT Basics

“We are grateful to General Growth Properties for making what seemed like a dream for our employees and loyal customers a reality.”

Foodland Super Market Chairman and CEO Jenai S. Wall

 

In 1960, the U.S. Congress created Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Modeled after mutual funds, they give everyday citizens, including Hawaii residents, the ability to own real estate like apartment buildings, data centers, hotels, office buildings, shopping malls, wireless communication towers, self-storage facilities and more. Today, an estimated 70 million Americans own REITs through their retirement savings and other investment funds.

Like mutual funds, REITs annually pay out all of their taxable income to their shareholders in the form of dividends. Data shows that more than 9,300 individual investors in Hawaii received a total of nearly $30 million in distributions from public non-listed REITs. As a result, shareholders must pay income taxes on the dividends they receive as opposed to REITs paying corporate income taxes themselves.

In Hawaii, public REITs own approximately 80 properties with an estimated value of almost $8 billion. REITs are an established part of life in Hawaii, touching many aspects of life on the islands. REITs create thousands of local jobs in construction, resort, retail, healthcare and more.

In Hawaii, public REITs own approximately 80 properties with an estimated value of almost $8 billion.

One great example is a $573 million investment by General Growth Properties in Hawaii’s largest shopping mall. It allowed the family-owned Foodland to re-open in a space over twice the size of their original store, and allows them to continue being part of the community they have served for more than 50 years. Foodland’s CEO has been quoted as saying “we are grateful to General Growth Properties for making what seemed like a dream for our employees and loyal customers a reality.”