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Weingarten Realty (WRI) Buys Land for Mixed-Use Project

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Weingarten Realty (WRI - Free Report) recently announced the acquisition of 5.2 acres of land in Alexandria, VA, for a mixed-use project. The company’s net investment at completion of this mixed-use project is estimated to be $160 million. It is expected to benefit from the growth scopes that mixed-use properties offer.

This mixed-use project, which is named “The Gateway Alexandria” (“Gateway”), would have 352 multi-housing units after completion, of which 74 will be affordable units. Also, the project would include 110,000 square feet of retail space, anchored by Harris Teeter, 87,000 square feet of office space and below-grade parking with 820 spaces.

Weingarten Realty would enjoy ownership in the retail, 275 luxury residences, and approximately 23,000 square feet of office space, in this project.    

Moreover, Gateway is a Transit Oriented Development (TOD). It is located at the corner of King and North Beauregard Streets, specifically six miles away from Capital Beltway, five miles from downtown D.C., four miles from Old Town Alexandria and four miles from the Pentagon.

The project would benefit from the Metrobus and Dash Bus system in terms of connectivity. Also, upon completion there would be a new Bus Rapid Transit station, connecting the Pentagon Metro station to the Van Dorn Street station, with specified stops at major intersections, including Gateway.

Importantly, mixed-use developments have gained popularity for their solid neighborhood character, greater housing variety and density. In addition, such developments reduce the distance between housing, workplaces, retail businesses, and other amenities and destinations.

Hence, such acquisitions enable the companies to capture the attention of people, who prefer to live, work and play in the same area – a trend that drove development in several other cities in the U.S. This population cohort also gives importance to the transit options. Hence, focusing on such areas is a strategic fit for Weingarten Realty.

Retail real estate investment trust (REIT) – Regency Centers Corporation (REG - Free Report) – had also opted for such mixed-use project earlier this year. Regency, in association with AvalonBay Communities Inc. (AVB - Free Report) , acquired Market Common Clarendon from TIAA Global Asset Management. This mixed-use development in Arlington, VA, included retail, restaurants, and residential buildings and is positioned next to Clarendon Boulevard in the Clarendon neighborhood. (Read more: AvalonBay, Regency Centers Buy Market Common Clarendon)

Weingarten Realty currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Investors interested in the REIT industry may consider another better-ranked stock – Retail Properties of America, Inc. (RPAI - Free Report) – which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Retail Properties of America has experienced upward revision in full-year 2016 estimates in the past one month.

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