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Texas-based Whitestone REIT (WSR - Snapshot Report) announced the completion of the acquisition of the community center – Anthem Marketplace – for $23.3 million of cash drawn on Whitestone’s unsecured revolving credit facility. The acquisition depicts Whitestone’s ongoing expansion spree mainly on the off-market front.

Acquisition Details

Anthem Marketplace is advantageously situated at the Anthem Parkway and Gavilan Peak Parkway intersection. Moreover, it is located opposite the Anthem Community Park. Additionally, this center serves the Anthem and Tramonto master-planned communities designed to cater to families in North Phoenix. The community center spans over 113,293 square feet and is anchored by Safeway Inc. (SWY - Analyst Report). It comprises dining establishments as well as personal care services and retailers.

Anthem Marketplace currently experiences in-place net operating income of about $1.8 million. Further, Whitestone expects to add about $0.06 per share in annual FFO (funds from operations) based on current shares outstanding.

Conclusion

Whitestone currently owns 15 Community Centers and 3 future development land parcels in the Greater Phoenix area. Some of the community centers include – The Shops at Pecos Ranch, The Citadel, Pima Norte, The Pinnacle of Scottsdale, and Terravita Marketplace. Following the Scottsdale-based property acquisition, Whitestone now owns a large share of tenant space in the affluent submarket of Phoenix, spanning over 1.5 million square feet of gross leasable area.

The recent deal is expected to strengthen Whitestone’s presence in the upscale markets, especially on the off-market front. Moreover, Whitestone has been focusing on expanding its footprint by tactically acquiring commercial properties in high-growth markets. This retail real estate investment trust (REIT) mainly targets U.S. properties located in densely populated and culturally diverse submarkets in Phoenix, Chicago, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston.

Whitestone currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better performing REITs include Chesapeake Lodging Trust (CHSP - Snapshot Report) and CommonWealth REIT . Both these companies carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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