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STORE Capital CEO weighs in on retailer troubles

's CEO sees nosign of "current or pending recessionary pressures."

ChristopherVolk acknowledged the retailer weakness that has crept into headlines lately andconcerns building in the marketplace about the health of the economy. But, speakingduring an earnings call, the executive said tenant vacancies are part of the retailreal estate business.

"Wewere built to address tenant insolvencies and real estate vacancies, which are commonacross the real estate net-lease industry," Volk said, adding that vacancies"are naturally annually budgeted for in our expectations of AFFO-per-shareranges."

STORECapital, notably, closed the first quarter with 99.9% occupancy.

One STORECapital tenant, for-profit education company Wright Career College, filed for bankruptcyin April. But Michael Zieg, executive vice president for portfolio management, saidthat only one property in Overland Park, Kan., representing 0.3% of NOI base rent,is affected. Zieg added that STORE Capital had been in continuousconversations with Wright Career College over the last year.

"They started struggling with some liquidity issues lastspring, kind of changed their business model over the fall, and then ultimatelythings just didn't pan out for them," he said.

STORE Capital has not yet taken control of the affected property,but demand for the space is strong. "We've already had a number of seriousinquiries … to take the building from us," Zieg said. "So we're prettyoptimistic about the outcome there."