Whitestone REIT Receives Approval of Additional Entitlements at Its Village Square at Dana Park Community Centered Property; Expansion Planned

HOUSTON, Oct. 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) (“Whitestone” or “the Company”) today announced that it has received approval of additional entitlements at its Village Square at Dana Park Community Centered Property from the City of Mesa. The city’s approval of the entitlements allows the Company to undertake an expansion of this premier property. The planned additions, which will be completed in phases, include a vibrant mix of retail and restaurant space, executive suites, multifamily housing and a hotel. The Company noted that it intends to identify an operator for the hotel component while retaining design control. Adding value through attaining the entitlements and further developing and expanding Village Square at Dana Park will enhance the life and vitality of the property while generating additional net operating income and cash flow.

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Village Square at Dana Park is located just off of the high-traffic Superstition Freeway in Mesa, Arizona with over 240,000 vehicles per day passing by the property and a population of 341,000 people within a 5-mile radius. The lifestyle community center, with its unique design and lay-out, dynamic street scenes and its quality of stores, is positioned to meet the needs of the young urban professionals, affluent families and savvy suburbanites surrounding it in the fast-growing and thriving Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler communities with their burgeoning high tech industry, which includes Apple and Intel manufacturing facilities.

“We are pleased that we attained the entitlements from the Mesa City Council, which will allow us to move forward with the additional development of our Village Square at Dana Park community centered property,” commented Jim Mastandrea, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to be part of the growing and thriving Mesa community and we are delighted to contribute further to the city’s economic development. Our goal for this premier mixed-use lifestyle community center is to increase its value and the overall enterprise value of Whitestone.

“We successfully implemented our plan to create a complementary mix of grocery, specialty boutique, dining and daily needs service tenants, which increased the net operating income of this high-end center and raised the occupancy rate to 92% from 71% at the time we acquired it in September 2012. Since the acquisition, we have added new tenants, such as Ferguson Showroom, Mad Greens, Soma Intimates, Pita Jungle, Pure Barre and Relax the Back, to our top-tier roster of existing tenants, including Chico’s, Ann Taylor Loft, Jos. A. Bank, Anthropologie, Z Gallerie, Pei Wei, AJ’s Fine Foods, California Pizza Kitchen and Orangetheory Fitness.”

Mr. Mastandrea concluded, “The timing is ideal as we look to significantly expand this vibrant property with our added entitlements. These actions typify our business model under which we continually pursue ways to increase occupancy, identify value-add opportunities within our portfolio and create additional shareholder value.”

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 70 commercial properties in Texas, Arizona and Illinois. For additional information about the Company, please visit www.whitestonereit.com.

Contact: Bob Aronson Director of Investor Relations D: (713) 435-2219; M: 832-364-8314 raronson@whitestonereit.com

Source:Whitestone REIT