Real estate investment trusts turned to revolving credit linesto stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic as they collectivelydrew down $37.19 billion in this year's first quarter, analysisshows.

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COVID-19 spread across the US in the beginning of the year withthe World Health Organization declaring the disease a pandemic onMarch 11. To stop the spread of the new coronavirus, states andlocal governments closed non-essential businesses.

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Hotels as well as retailers who aren't grocery stores and othersdeemed necessary have been most impacted, forcing them to mostaggressively turn to their credit facilities. They collectivelywithdrew $18.78 billion in the first quarter, with retailersdrawing $13.18 billion and hoteliers $5.6 billion, according tofinancial data and research organization S&P Global MarketIntelligence.

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S&P Global Market Intelligence, a subsidiary of publiclytraded New York City-based financial information and analyticsgroup S&P Global Inc., analyzed all REITs publiclytraded on the Nasdaq composite, New York Stock Exchangeand NYSE American that reported earnings as of June 9.

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These REITs had a total market capitalization of $1.18 trillionas of June 9.

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Out of the 175 REITs analyzed, 165 carry credit facilities.

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The retail REITs analyzed own properties across the gamut,including shopping centers, regional malls as well assingle-tenant and outlet centers. Shopping center landlords drewdown the most out of their other retail counterparts withMaryland-based Federal Realty Investment Trust leading thegroup.

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It took out $990 million, or almost all of its $1billion facility, followed by Illinois-based Retail Properties ofAmerica Inc. at $831.7 million. SITE Centers Corp., basedin Ohio, took out $640 million and New York-based BrixmorProperty Group Inc. $638.5 million.

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After shopping centers, the seven regional mall REITs were thesecond biggest group to turn to their credit facilities as theywithdrew $5.49 billion. Simon Property Group Inc., thelargest mall investor in the US, led equity REITs by takingout $3.76 billion with $3.63 billion remainingcapacity. That's the third highest capacity of any REIT.

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Other regional mall REITs that turned to their credit lines wereCalifornia-based Macerich Co., which drewdown $660.6 million from its $1.5 billion revolvingcredit; Tennessee-based CBL Properties, which drew down $365million; and Ohio-based Washington Prime Group Inc, which drew down$320.3 million.

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Out of the hotel REITs, the biggest one by market capitalizationalso withdrew the most from its revolving credit. HostHotels & Resorts Inc., based in Maryland with $10.19 billion inmarket capitalization, withdrew $1.49 billion, or almostall of its $1.5 billion facility. It was followed byVirginia-based Park Hotels & Resorts Inc., whichwithdrew its entire $1 billion line.

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Some of the other hotel REITs that turned to their creditfacilities are Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, which withdrew about $478.2million, and RLJ Lodging Trust withdrew $400 million. Bothare based in Maryland.

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Tennessee-based Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc. drewdown $391.9 million.

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Ten US REITs that invest across asset classes were left with norevolving credit at the close of the first quarter and in the midstof a pandemic that continues to infect more people, although statesand local governments have started to cautiously reopenbusinesses.

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They include Arizona-based diversified STORE Capital Corp.,which withdrew its $600 million line, and Nevada-basedentertainment and leisure resorts investor MGM GrowthProperties LLC, which withdrew its $1.35 billion line.

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Lidia Dinkova

Lidia Dinkova covers South Florida real estate for the Daily Business Review. Contact her at [email protected] or 305-347-6665. On Twitter @LidiaDinkova.