Retail Opportunity Investments Corp., a Maryland corporation ("ROIC") commenced operations in October 2009 as a fully integrated, self-managed REIT, and as of December 31, 2018, ROIC owned an approximate 90.8% partnership interest and other limited partners owned the remaining 9.2% partnership interest in the Operating Partnership. The Company specializes in the acquisition, ownership and management of necessity-based community and neighborhood shopping centers on the west coast of the United States, anchored by supermarkets and drugstores. The Company is organized in a traditional umbrella partnership real estate investment trust ("UpREIT") format pursuant to which Retail Opportunity Investments GP, LLC, its wholly-owned subsidiary, serves as the sole general partner of, and ROIC conducts substantially all of its business through, its operating partnership, Retail Opportunity Investments Partnership, LP, a Delaware limited partnership (the "Operating Partnership"), together with its subsidiaries. As of December 31, 2018, the Company's portfolio consisted of 92 properties (91 retail and one office) totaling approximately 10.5 million square feet of gross leasable area ("GLA").
ROIC's only material assets are its direct or indirect partnership interests in the Operating Partnership and membership interest in Retail Opportunity Investments GP, LLC, which is the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership. As a result, ROIC does not conduct business itself, other than acting as the parent company and through this subsidiary, acts as the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership. The Operating Partnership holds substantially all the assets of the Company and directly or indirectly holds the ownership interests in the Company's real estate ventures. The Operating Partnership conducts the operations of the Company's business and is structured as a partnership with no publicly traded equity. Except for net proceeds from equity issuances by ROIC, which are contributed to the Operating Partnership, the Operating Partnership generates the capital required by the Company's business through the Operating Partnership's operations, by the Operating Partnership's incurrence of indebtedness (directly and through subsidiaries) or through the issuance of operating partnership units ("OP Units") of the Operating Partnership.
The Company seeks to acquire shopping centers located in densely populated, supply-constrained metropolitan markets on the west coast of the United States, which exhibit income and population growth and high barriers to entry. The Company's senior management team has operated in the Company's markets for over 25 years and has established an extensive network of relationships in these markets with key institutional and private property owners, brokers and financial institutions and other real estate operators. The Company's in-depth local and regional market knowledge and expertise provides a distinct competitive advantage in identifying and accessing attractive acquisition opportunities, including properties that are not widely marketed.