Getty Realty Corp. (NYSE: GTY) is the leading publicly-traded real estate investment trust (“REIT”) in the United States specializing in the ownership, leasing and financing of convenience store, gasoline station, car wash and other automotive properties. Our 959 properties are located in 35 states across the United States and Washington, D.C. and are operated under a variety of brands including 76, BP, Citgo, Conoco, Exxon, Getty, Gulf, Mobil, Shell, Sunoco and Valero.
Our net lease portfolio consists of 829 properties leased to 31 regional and national fuel distributors under unitary or master triple-net leases and 117 properties leased as single unit triple-net leases.
We lease or sublet nearly all of our properties to convenience store, gas station, car wash and other automotive operators who are responsible for managing the operations conducted at these properties including the payment of taxes, maintenance, repair, insurance and other operating expenses.
We seek to grow our portfolio of properties by providing competitively priced and innovatively structured financing to the convenience store, gas station, car wash and other automotive industries.
We seek to generate current income and benefit from long-term appreciation in the underlying value of our real estate. To achieve that goal, we seek to invest in high quality individual properties and real estate portfolios that are in strong primary markets that serve high density population centers. A key element of our investment strategy is to invest in properties that will promote our geographic and tenant diversity.
We believe that a portion of our properties are located in geographic areas, which together with other factors, may make them well-suited for a new convenience store, gas station, car wash and other automotive use or for alternative single-tenant net lease retail uses, such as quick service restaurants, automotive parts and service stores, specialty retail stores and bank branch locations. We believe that such alternative types of properties can be leased or sold at higher values than their current use.
We are actively redeveloping certain of our former convenience store, gas station, car wash and other automotive properties either as a new convenience store, gas station, car wash and other automotive use or for an alternative single-tenant net lease retail use. In addition, we are in various stages of feasibility and planning for the recapture of select properties from our net lease portfolio that are suitable for redevelopment to alternative single-tenant net lease retail uses.
We employ a financial strategy designed to support our operational objectives while maintaining a conservative capital structure. Key aspects of this strategy include:
We elected to be treated as a real estate investment trust (REIT) under the federal income tax laws beginning January 1, 2001.
A REIT is a corporation, or a business trust that would otherwise be taxed as a corporation, which meets certain requirements of the Internal Revenue Code. The Internal Revenue Code permits a qualifying REIT to deduct dividends paid, thereby effectively eliminating corporate level federal income tax and making the REIT a pass-through vehicle for federal income tax purposes.
To meet the applicable requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, a REIT must, among other things, invest substantially all of its assets in interests in real estate (including mortgages and other REITs) or cash and government securities, derive most of its income from rents from real property or interest on loans secured by mortgages on real property, and distribute to shareholders annually a substantial portion of its otherwise taxable income. As a REIT, we are required to distribute at least 90% of our taxable income to our shareholders each year and would be subject to corporate level federal income taxes on any taxable income that is not distributed.