"We’re not speculators. We’re investors.” So says the CEO of a real estate trust that recently sunk some $170 million into 22 charter schools.
Which got me wondering: why charter schools? How do they end up looking like sound investments?
It turns out the buyer, Entertainment Properties Trust (EPR), buys real estate nationwide, with its total portfolio worth about $2.6 billion. Over half of that is in megaplex movie theaters. EPR’s stated goal is to be "the nation's leading destination entertainment, entertainment-related, recreation and specialty real estate company."
So why charter schools?
According to EPR's website: "We understand that education is among the most vital experiences of life. Movie theatres and charter schools are very different in many ways, but they are alike in this respect: People choose to patronize them. Our experience in financing specialized real estate enables us to capitalize on properties that people choose to visit."