Whitestone REIT (NYSE-Amex: WSR – “Whitestone”), a real estate investment trust that acquires, owns and operates Community Centered Properties TM, today reported occupancy and leasing highlights for the first quarter, ended March 31, 2012. The physical occupancy of its Operating Portfolio 1 was 87% as of March 31, 2012, a 3% percent increase over the year-ago first quarter ended March 31, 2011 and was unchanged since the prior quarter ended December 31, 2011. The Company’s total occupancy, including the newly purchased value add properties in Phoenix, was 85% as of the end of the current quarter, a 1% increase from December 31, 2011.
Whitestone’s leasing team signed 90 leases totaling 159,167 square feet (“sf”) in new and renewal leases during the first quarter, and currently has over 941 total tenants, of which 72% lease space that is less than 3,000 sf, provide services as opposed to goods, and are located in multi-cultural neighborhoods.
“We continue to build from our small tenant base platform and business model and are gaining a foothold, as current tenants expand into adjacent spaces and look to expand their business at other Whitestone locations. We have expanded our tenant roster over the last twelve months by adding 153 new tenants,” said James C. Mastandrea, Whitestone’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our new Director of Real Estate Development, Richard Rollnick, who joined Whitestone last month, is focused on initiating value-add transformation and redevelopment of numerous residual land and out parcel projects within our current portfolio. Additionally, he will lead the Phase II ground-up development and construction to add new lease space on our two expansion parcels that we purchased in late December 2011. These projects are expected to begin mid to late 2013 and include a 4.45 acre Phase II parcel for Pinnacle of Scottsdale in North Scottsdale and a 2.73 acre parcel adjacent to The Shops at Starwood in Frisco, Texas.”
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