Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE: WRI), a leading owner, manager and developer of shopping centers, announced today that during the second quarter of 2013, the Company sold 11 non-core properties, five of which were owned in various joint ventures and three land parcels. For the quarter and year-to-date, the Company’s share of proceeds from dispositions totaled $108 million and $124 million, respectively. This capital was redeployed into outstanding new acquisitions totaling $71 million during the quarter; bringing the year-to-date acquisitions to $89 million. This year’s acquisitions continue to strengthen the portfolio as they have an average household income of over $81,000 within a three-mile trade area and approximately 50% college graduates, which are 23% and 39%, respectively higher than the same measures for the properties sold in 2013.
Second quarter acquisitions
As previously reported, the Company acquired Queen Anne Marketplace in Seattle, Washington. The shopping center is 66,000 square feet and anchored by Metropolitan Market, an upscale neighborhood grocer operating in a densely populated, high barrier-to-entry urban infill location. The three-mile trade area enjoys a population of over 200,000 people with over 68% holding college degrees. The property was purchased in a joint venture between Weingarten Realty Investors and Bouwinvest in which WRI will hold a 51% interest. This is the first acquisition in the joint venture that seeks to invest approximately $275 million in high quality community and neighborhood shopping centers anchored by market-dominant retailers utilizing up to 50% leverage.
WRI also acquired Independence Plaza, a 324,000 square foot center in Laredo, Texas. This shopping center features a top performing H-E-B, T.J. Maxx, Ross, Hobby Lobby, Petco and Ulta Beauty. Independence Plaza is 96% leased and generates approximately 80% of its income from these national retailers. The Laredo MSA has the largest job growth forecast in the nation over the next 10 years. The region benefits from jobs created by natural gas exploration in the Eagle Ford Shale Formation and the Port of Laredo which is the nation’s largest inland port and handles 60% of all U.S. trade with Mexico. With this addition, WRI owns and manages a portfolio of 13 shopping centers comprised of 1.7 million square feet in South Texas.