Weingarten Buys Queen Anne Marketplace

Zacks

Weingarten Realty Investors (WRI), a retail real estate investment trust (:REIT), recently acquired a Wash.-based shopping center – Queen Anne Marketplace – in a joint venture (:JV) with Bouwinvest. The strategic move evinces the company’s effort to strengthen its overall portfolio and tenant base, through high-end assets buy-out.

Situated at the Mercer Street in the prosperous Queen Anne submarket of Seattle, this property spans 70,000 square feet. This urban retail shopping center is anchored by a cluster of renowned tenants – such as Metropolitan Market, FedEx Corporation (FDX), Bartell Drugs, and Bank of America Corporation (BAC).  

Queen Anne Marketplace is suitably located in a 3-mile trade area with a highly educated and dense population. Moreover, the center is situated in proximity to numerous prominent buildings such as Amazon.com, Inc.’s (AMZN) headquarters, Seattle Center and the Gates Foundation.

Notably, this is the first buy-out of the JV in which Weingarten holds 51% interest. Further, the JV intends to invest about $275 million for the acquisition of premium shopping centers and utilize up to 50% leverage.  

We view the aforementioned acquisition as a laudable achievement for Weingarten, given its superior demographics with high household incomes, along with high barriers to entry. We expect it to increase rental revenues and thereby boost top-line growth in the future.

Based in Houston, Texas, Weingarten owns, manages and develops real estate properties. As of Mar 31, 2013, the company owned a total of 288 developed properties and 2 properties under construction. The total number of properties includes 286 neighborhoods and community shopping centers and 4 other operating properties located in 21 states totaling approximately 53.0 million square feet.

Weingarten Realty currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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