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Photo Release -- Whitestone REIT Expands in Austin, Texas With Purchase of Second and Third Community Centered Properties; Begins Expansion in Frisco, Texas With Groundbreaking of Phase III at The Shops at Starwood

HOUSTON, July 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) ("Whitestone") announced today that it has acquired Parkside Village North and Parkside Village South, its second and third service-oriented centers in the fast-growing and economically-strong Austin market. The company initially entered Austin, which is considered to be one of the best places in the country to live, in late May with the purchase of Davenport Village. The two Parkside Village properties, which were acquired for a total of $45.0 million, typify Whitestone's strategy of focusing on business-friendly Texas and Arizona, where it has 42 and 24 Community Centered PropertiesTM, respectively. Overall, the company has a portfolio of 67 properties with approximately 1,420 tenants. The two well-known retail centers are strategically positioned on both sides of the main entrance of the prominent and affluent Circle C Ranch master-planned community, which is located at the intersection of Mopac Expressway and Slaughter Lane. The rapidly growing area, with a demographic that includes average household income of $109,000 and a median home value of $460,000, is one of Austin's most desirable due to its close proximity to major employers and to the city's "Silicon Hills" high-tech companies.

Parkside Village North and Parkside Village South are strategically positioned on both sides of the main entrance of the prominent and affluent Circle C Ranch master-planned community, which is located in Austin, Texas at the intersection of Mopac Expressway and Slaughter Lane. The rapidly growing area, with a demographic that includes average household income of $109,000 and a median home value of $460,000, is one of Austin's most desirable due to its close proximity to major employers and to the city's "Silicon Hills" high-tech companies. The two Parkside Village properties, which contain a strong and diverse group of national and local service-based credit tenants dedicated to meeting the needs of the over 4,800 Circle C Ranch community households, adhere perfectly to Whitestone's Community Centered Property(TM) business model.


Parkside Village North and Parkside Village South are strategically positioned on both sides of the main entrance of the prominent and affluent Circle C Ranch master-planned community, which is located in Austin, Texas at the intersection of Mopac Expressway and Slaughter Lane. The rapidly growing area, with a demographic that includes average household income of $109,000 and a median home value of $460,000, is one of Austin's most desirable due to its close proximity to major employers and to the city's "Silicon Hills" high-tech companies. The two Parkside Village properties, which contain a strong and diverse group of national and local service-based credit tenants dedicated to meeting the needs of the over 4,800 Circle C Ranch community households, adhere perfectly to Whitestone's Community Centered Property(TM) business model.


Photos accompanying this release are available at

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=34237

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=34238

PARKSIDE VILLAGES HIGHLIGHTS

  • Two Class-A neighborhood community centers, in close proximity to one another, with a total of 117,146 square feet of leasable space (27,045 sf in Parkside Village North and 90,101 sf in Parkside Village South)
  • Immediately accretive to earnings with annual "in-place" net operating income for the two Parkside Village properties of approximately $2.9 million
  • 100% leased
  • Strong and diverse group of national and local service-based credit tenants dedicated to meeting the needs of the over 4,800 Circle C Ranch community households
  • 30 combined tenants, including Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, The Austin Diagnostic Clinic and Chase Bank
  • Low near-term tenant rollover risk provides stability
  • Located in an established and desirable high traffic area of Austin (over 45,000 vehicles per day pass by the two centers on Mopac Expressway and over 23,000 vehicles per day pass by the two centers on Slaughter Lane) with strong demographic fundamentals

The acquisition of the two Parkside Village properties, which was completed on July 2nd, was funded by proceeds from Whitestone's recent sale of additional shares of its common stock.

James C. Mastandrea, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are thrilled to be adding these two premier properties to our Austin portfolio. We now have a total of approximately 246,000 square feet of leasable space in one the fastest growing and most vibrant cities in Texas and America, producing net operating income of approximately $6.0 million per year. Parkside Village North and Parkside Village South are ideally situated in a highly desirable, affluent area of Austin and adhere perfectly to our Community Centered PropertyTM business model. We look forward to integrating these two properties, which are fully leased, into our portfolio and to realizing the synergistic benefits and economies of scale with our three community centered San Antonio properties. These properties are located less than one hour from Austin and have a total of 288,000 square feet of leasable space generating net operating income of approximately $4.0 million per year.

"With this acquisition closed, we have now invested $135 million in the Austin and San Antonio markets combined. Looking ahead, we expect to continue making acquisitions in both of these dynamic cities as our business gains traction, providing Whitestone with a leading position in each market."

PHASE III EXPANSION AT THE SHOPS AT STARWOOD

Whitestone also announced today that it has broken ground on the much anticipated Phase III expansion of The Shops at Starwood. The highly recognizable, fully-leased center is located in Frisco, Texas at the intersection of the Dallas North Tollway and Lebanon Road. Phase III, which will cost approximately $6.9 million to build, will add a total of 38,200 square feet to the Class A mixed-use property, of which 26,700 square feet is expected to be restaurant and retail space and 11,500 square feet will be executive office space. The company projects that, at a 95% stabilized occupancy rate, the additional space will generate net operating income of $1.1 million. The Phase III expansion will contribute to the growing development along the Dallas North Tollway, which includes the new Dallas Cowboys' headquarters and training facilities that are located just one mile south of The Shops at Starwood. Whitestone anticipates that the Phase III development, which exemplifies its strategy of adding value through expansion, will be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

"We are proud to be part of the growing and thriving Frisco community, which is just north of Dallas," said Mr. Mastandrea. "We acquired The Shops at Starwood, and the land that is being used for the Phase III development, in 2011 in anticipation of the tremendous growth in both population and employment that is currently taking place. The timing of our expansion of The Shops at Starwood, and our relative low cost basis in the land, will provide us with a competitive leasing advantage in an expanding marketplace and will allow us to better serve the growing community."

About Whitestone REIT

Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) is a fully integrated real estate investment trust ("REIT") that owns, re-develops, repositions, leases, manages and operates Community Centered PropertiesTM. Whitestone focuses on value creation in its community centers, concentrating on local service-oriented tenants. Whitestone's diversified tenant base provides service offerings including specialty retail, grocery, restaurants, medical, educational and financial services. Founded in 1998, the Company is internally managed with a portfolio of 67 commercial properties in Texas, Arizona, and Illinois. For additional information about the Company, please visit www.whitestonereit.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements included herein that state the Company's or management's intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations or predictions of the future are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which by their nature, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. Reference is made to the Company's regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for information or factors that may impact the Company's performance.

CONTACT: Bob Aronson Director of Investor Relations (713) 435-2219 raronson@whitestonereit.com

Source:Whitestone REIT