Running a Retail REIT with Don Clow of Crombie REIT

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Joining the podcast today is Don Clow, President and CEO of Crombie REIT. Originally from Prince Edward Island, Don began his real estate career in the Maritimes and “retired” in 2004. He begins this episode by telling us the story of how he got back into the industry.

With Crombie REIT having a strong relationship with Sobeys, Don shares valuable insights to grocery-anchored retail properties. He brings up how grocery stores have an upper hand on Amazon and explains why he likes secondary markets such as Victoria and Halifax.

Topics covered include:

  • Don’s retirement in 2004 and why he felt like he needed a change.
  • Don’s first years as part of a REIT.
  • Exemplifying the values of Crombie REIT and moving towards an entrepreneurial culture.
  • The leadership style that Don uses and what many leaders are missing.
  • Crombie REIT’s strategic partnership with Sobeys.
  • Development opportunities in Vancouver and Toronto.
  • Incremental adjustments that have made Crombie REIT stronger over the years.
  • Balance sheet strength and why it’s important.
  • Attracting and retaining talent.
  • Being named Top Employer in Atlantic Canada.
  • Assets that Crombie REIT are avoiding.
  • Why secondary and tertiary markets are attractive to Don.
  • Protecting assets from market transitions.
  • Comparing Amazon with traditional grocery stores.

More about our guest…

Don Clow has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Crombie REIT since 2009. Crombie REIT is a Real Estate Investment Trust that owns and operates 288 shopping centres, freestanding grocery stores and office buildings across Canada totaling 19 million sq. ft. with an enterprise value of approximately $4.8B, a market capitalization of approximately $2B and an urban mixed-use development pipeline of approximately $3.0 – 4.5B. Don earned his CA designation with KPMG and was designated a Fellow Chartered Accountant in 2002. In addition, he is a member of WPO, Chief Executive Officer & the Business Council of Canada. Don has been inducted into Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame. Don is a member of Acadia University’s Board of Governors and a Trustee on the Board of the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation.

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