“This was a truly outstanding quarter for operations. Both the 5.0% increase in Same Property NOI and the jump in occupancy up to 94.2% are clear reflections of our high quality portfolio and the benefits of a best-in-class operating platform manned by a great team of associates,” said Johnny Hendrix, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
During the quarter, the Company sold eleven non-core properties, five of which were owned in various joint ventures, and three land parcels for $108.2 million. As communicated previously, the Company is focused on selling assets which do not meet its current investment requirements and redeploying that capital into higher quality assets in its target markets. Year-to-date, the Company has sold $123.9 million in assets.
During the quarter, the Company completed the acquisition of two outstanding shopping centers. Queen Anne Marketplace in Seattle, Washington is a 66,000 square foot shopping center 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. This was the first property purchased in a joint venture between the Company and Bouwinvest in which Weingarten will hold a 51% interest. The Company 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 97% 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 and is influenced by the Eagle Ford Shale and an incredible pent up demand from millions of people in Northern Mexico who have very limited shopping opportunities. Year-to-date, the Company has invested $89.3 million in quality shopping centers in great markets.
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