Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) “Whitestone,” a real estate investment trust that acquires, owns and operates Community Centered Properties TM, today reported occupancy and leasing highlights for the second quarter ended June 30, 2012. The physical occupancy of its Operating Portfolio 1 was 87% as of June 30, 2012, reflecting a 6% percent increase over the year-ago first quarter ended June 30, 2011 and a 2% increase versus the prior quarter ended March 31, 2012. The Company’s total occupancy was 87% as of the end of the current quarter, a 2% increase from March 31, 2012.
Whitestone’s leasing team signed 92 leases totaling 190,000 square feet (“sf”) in new and renewal leases during the second quarter, and added 22 new tenants to its roster of primarily small entrepreneurial retail service business tenants. Whitestone currently has over 950 total tenants, of which 72% lease space that is less than 3,000 sf, provide retail services as opposed to goods to the surrounding community, and are located in multi-cultural neighborhoods.
“Whitestone is actually celebrating two milestones this quarter. In our Texas/Illinois Division, we achieved a record 89% occupancy—the highest ever for the Community Centers that primarily comprised our Operating Portfolio at the time of our Initial Public Offering. The occupancy in these centers was 83% at June 2010, just prior to our IPO 2,” said James C. Mastandrea, Whitestone’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Additionally, our common stock began trading on Friday, June 29th on the NYSE in an upward move from the NYSE-MKT. With these accomplishments, we want to acknowledge the teamwork of our dedicated Whitestone associates who continue to stretch our Community Center Business Model to its maximum to achieve our goals for our shareholders.”
Leasing HighlightsWhitestone’s Community Centered Property business model is focused on leasing smaller spaces (less than 3,000 sf) to entrepreneurial small business owners who provide retail services to their surrounding neighborhood. The following leases completed during the quarter are provided as examples to illustrate the types of tenants and the tenant mix that drives value to Whitestone Community Centers: Arizona Region: Gilbert Tuscany – Gilbert: Macri Chiropractic signed a new 1,373 sf lease in this family-themed Community Center in the growing Phoenix East Valley market area, which has increased its occupancy from 16% at purchase in June 2011 to current 44%. Terravita – Scottsdale: Nationwide Flooring signed a new lease for 1,232 sf lease in this seniors-at-home focused Community Center. The Citadel – Scottsdale: Three new leases totaling 1,294 sf were signed in this zen-like boutique Community Center: Emily’s Café signed a new 1,750 sf lease, RW Smith & Associates signed a new 477 sf lease, and Davidson Law P.C. signed a new 1.107 sf lease. The Pinnacle of Scottsdale – Scottsdale: Two small space tenants signed expansion leases in this Center totaling 2,597 sf: Trendy Nails and Salon at the Peak. Texas/Illinois Region: Corporate Park Northwest – Houston: In this entrepreneurial small business incubator themed Community Center business park, 10 new and expansion were signed totaling 13,665 sf. New tenants include Murphy Lawal 1,398 sf, Entertainment Center 1,398 sf, Site Safe Security 1,398 sf, Spartan Global Services 728 sf, Marlene Avila 720 sf, Cherly Boggs Savage CPA 1,398 sf, L.B. Foster 2,796 sf, Virtual Builders Exchange 1,033 sf, and Enviro Resources 1,398 sf. Tangible Difference Learning Center expanded their space by 1,398 sf. I-10 Office Warehouse – Houston: three new leases were signed in this energy corridor office/flex Community Center, including Peterson Morris Wholesale Distributors 15,705 sf, Boat Lift Distributors 10,000 sf, and Red Dirt Hurricane 1,750 sf. Lion Square – Houston: Hoa Huynh signed an 800 sf lease and Merryland Bakery expanded their space by 2,400 sf in this Asian themed Community Center located in Houston’s International Management District. Plaza Park – Houston: Three new tenants joined this medical-themed Community Center located in Houston’s Medical Center District: South Union Community Development Corp. 5,309 sf, Pate Psychological Services 833 sf, and Donald L. Morant Jr 1,860 sf. About Whitestone REIT Whitestone REIT is a fully integrated real estate company that owns, operates and re-develops Community Centered Properties TM, which are visibly located properties in established or developing culturally diverse neighborhoods. Whitestone focuses on value-creation in its Centers, as it markets, leases and manages its Centers to match tenants with the shared needs of surrounding neighborhoods. Operations are structured for providing cost-effective service to local service-oriented smaller space tenants (less than 3,000 square feet). Whitestone has a diversified tenant base concentrated on service offerings such as medical, education, and casual dining. The largest of its over 950 tenants comprises less than 2% of its rental revenues. Headquartered in Houston, Texas and founded in 1998, the Company is internally managed with a portfolio of commercial Centers in Texas, Arizona, and Illinois. For additional information about the Company, please visit www.whitestonereit.com. The investor section of the Company's website has links to SEC filings, news releases, financial reports and investor newsletters. 1 Operating Portfolio - excludes new acquisitions through the earlier of (1) attainment of 90% occupancy or 18 months of ownership and (2) properties which are undergoing significant redevelopment or re-tenanting. 2 Whitestone’s portfolio at the time it completed its Initial Public Offering (“IPO”) in August 2010 was comprised of 36 Community Centers including one in Arizona, one in Illinois, and 34 in Texas. One property, Greens Road in Houston, has been sold since the IPO (sold in April 2012). Forward-Looking Statements Statements included herein that state the Company's or management's intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations or predictions of the future are "forward- looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which by their nature, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. Reference is made to the Company's regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for information or factors that may impact the Company's performance.