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 third quarter ended September 30, 2012. The physical occupancy of its Operating Portfolio 1 was 87% as of September 30, 2012, reflecting a 1% increase over the year-ago third quarter ended September 30, 2011 and unchanged from the prior quarter ended June 30, 2012. The Company’s total occupancy was 85% as of the end of the current quarter, a 1% increase over the year-ago quarter ended September 30, 2011.
Whitestone’s leasing team signed 63 leases totaling 143,922 square feet (“sf”) in new and renewal leases during the third quarter, and added 39 new tenants to its roster of primarily small entrepreneurial retail service business tenants. Whitestone currently has over 1,050 total tenants, an increase of 26% since June 30, 2011, of which 71% 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.
“We are pleased with our progress with the addition of new small space service oriented tenants, as we continue to build on our business plan and add value for our shareholders through acquiring, owning and operating Community Centered Properties. Our value-add approach to increase net asset value (NAV) per share includes lease-up and repositioning of our Centers to increase revenues, and expanding our lease capacity by increasing new lease space in existing facilities, reducing our expenses, realigning economies of scale from our vertical infrastructure, and initiating development projects on land acquired along with new acquisitions and existing land owned,” said James C. Mastandrea, Whitestone’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “During the third quarter we achieved a milestone in diversifying our portfolio beyond Texas and Illinois: we now own over one million square feet of lease space in the Greater Phoenix market, including the two most recent value-add acquisitions completed during the third quarter, both of which were purchased at a significant discount to replacement value in off-market transactions.”