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Weingarten Inks Deal with Arhaus

Zacks Equity Research

Weingarten Realty Investors (WRI), a real estate investment trust (:REIT), recently signed an agreement with Arhaus Furniture to lease a space in Post Oak in Houston, Texas. The financial terms of the agreement were not divulged.

The 19,340 square feet space is at the Center, which is located on the corner of Westheimer Rd and Post Oak Blvd, at the epicenter of Houston’s dominant retail destination. The space was previously occupied by Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS).

Since its inception in 1989, Arhaus Furniture provides high-quality, unique and well-designed home furnishings, made of recycled natural resources, to high-end customers. The company engages in designing its products and getting it manufactured by the best manufacturers.

Arhaus Furniture is scheduled to open their new store in the leased space. The new opening will mark the opening of their first store in the Texas market, which will be followed by its second opening in Austin, Texas.

Weingarten Realty has formerly leased spaces to Nordstrom Rack and Grand Lux Café at the Centre at Post Oak. The Center is strategically located, which makes it desirable for the companies looking to enter the Houston market.

We believe Weingarten Realty will benefit from the agreement as it will drive the company’s rental revenue in the coming quarters. Moreover, the success of Arhaus Furniture in other locations keeps us upbeat regarding its success in this location too.

Based in Houston, Texas, Weingarten Realty owns, manages and develops real estate properties under two segments-Shopping center and Industrial. As of now, the company owns 375 developed income producing properties and 11 properties under construction. In addition, the company also owns 73 industrial projects situated in California, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia and 3 other operating properties located in Texas and Arizona.

Weingarten Realty came out with its first quarter 2012 results in early May. The company reported recurring funds from operations (:FFO) of 46 cents, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 and 2013 stands at $1.81 and $1.87, respectively. This represents a year-over-year growth of 0.15% and 3.16%, respectively.

We presently have a long term ‘Neutral’ recommendation on Weingarten Realty, which holds a Zacks #4 Rank signifying a short term ‘Sell’ rating. We have a Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) and a long term ‘Neutral’ recommendation on Simon Property Group Inc. (SPG), a peer of Weingarten Realty.

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