HOUSTON, Aug. 31, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) ("Whitestone" or "the Company") today announced the acquisition of Keller Place, increasing its Community Centered PropertiesTM in Dallas/Fort Worth to seven and to sixty-nine overall for the Company. The purchase of Keller Place includes two developable land parcels, valued at $2.3 million, which provide the Company with significant value-add potential. Keller Place was acquired for a total purchase price of $14.3 million, including the value of the developable land parcels, and will enhance Whitestone's presence in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, the ninth largest metropolitan area in the United States. The marquee property is anchored by a Kroger Signature superstore serving the affluent Keller community with an average household income of over $101,000.
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The Company purchased Keller Place through Whitestone REIT Operating Partnership, L.P., its "Operating Partnership," and funded the acquisition using a combination of cash and 120,000 Operating Partnership ("OP") units. The OP units, which were valued at $19.00 per unit, are convertible on a one-for-one basis for Whitestone REIT common stock, subject to certain restrictions, currently receive an annual dividend of $1.14 per unit, which is paid in monthly increments.
The Keller Place acquisition marks the Company's seventh community centered property in the Dallas/Fort Worth market as Whitestone continues to expand in rapidly growing southern cities in Texas and Arizona. The city of Keller, which is located in the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, has been named to CNN/Money Magazine's biennial listing of "Top 100 Places to Live – America's Best Small Towns" three times since 2007, including taking seventh place in 2009. The energetic and growing city was also recognized as one of the "Nations Richest Cities" by the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.
KELLER PLACE HIGHLIGHTS
- "In-place" net operating income of approximately $1.0 million.
- Class-A neighborhood community center with a total of 93,541 square feet of leasable space plus two developable land parcels with expansion potential of approximately 30,000 leasable square feet.
- 92% leased.
- Anchored by a Kroger Signature superstore, including H&R Block, Sherwin Williams and unique locally-owned restaurants. The Kroger Signature concept places more emphasis on an interactive customer experience and offers more natural and organic foods, chef-prepared meals solutions and ethnic and gourmet food choices.
"What attracted us to Keller Place was its ideal location, trade area strength, stable cash flow and upside potential," said James C. Mastandrea, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "With a 92% occupancy rate and developable land parcels, the property holds significant value-add potential with opportunities to increase and enhance the tenant mix, drive rental rate growth and expand the center's leasable space.
"Whitestone OP units were used as currency at $19.00 per share, representing a 6% yield to the seller, and reflects both parties' confidence in the business model and financial strength of the Company."
Mr. Mastandrea concluded, "Keller Place meets our service-oriented, community centered property criteria. We are very excited to be adding this premier property to our DFW portfolio. As we continue to grow, our plan is to become a leading property owner and operator in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and Phoenix, which are cities located in two of the fastest-growing and most business-friendly states in the country."
About Whitestone REIT
Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) is a fully integrated real estate investment trust ("REIT") that owns, redevelops, 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 69 commercial properties in Texas, Arizona and Illinois. For additional information about the Company, please visit www.whitestonereit.com.
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.
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