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IRET Powers Portfolio with Property Investments in Minneapolis

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In a bid to boost its presence in its strategic markets, Investors Real Estate Trust IRET — better known as IRET — recently announced investments in Minneapolis.

Particularly, the company announced the acquisition of Ironwood Apartments in New Hope, MN. The company spent $46.3 million on purchasing this property, which has 182 homes. Notably, Ironwood Apartments was opened in 2019 and IRET had previously financed its development with a $16.6-million mezzanine note.

Conveniently located in New Hope, this asset is likely to command much attention and witness high occupancy for its access to many major employment centers and transportation corridors.

Moreover, the company acquired the minority stake in via a joint venture (JV) that owns 71 France Apartments in Edina, MN. IRET paid $12.2 million in consideration for its partners' 47.4% ownership interest in the JV. The property was constructed in 2016 and has 241-unit, market-rate apartment community with a sprawling 20,955 square feet of commercial retail space.

With good proximity to downtown Minneapolis, downtown St. Paul and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, 71 France Apartments enjoys quite an advantageous location to attract tenants’ attention. It has connectivity to upscale shopping and entertainment establishments in the immediate area.

The investments in Minneapolis come as part of the company’s strategy to expand exposure to high-growth markets including the Twin Cities. In fact, IRET made concerted efforts in the past to transform into a focused multi-family company. It disposed senior housing, commercial, medical office and other non-core properties, and through disciplined capital recycling, increased exposure to target markets in Minneapolis and Denver.

These strategic actions augur well for long-term profitability. The company owned interests in 69 apartment communities consisting of 11,953 apartment homes as of Dec 31, 2019.

IRET currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of the company have outperformed the broader industry over the past year. The stock has rallied 20.8% against the Zacks Real Estate Market’s decline of 7.4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Stocks to Consider

Boston Properties, Inc. BXP currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company’s FFO per share estimate for first-quarter 2020 has been revised 1.1% upward to $1.82 in two months’ time.

Highwoods PropertiesHIW currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2 and the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year FFO per share has moved marginally upward to $3.64 over the past month.

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. PDM is currently Zacks #2 Ranked. The company’s FFO per share estimate for 2020 has been revised 3.2% upward to $1.96 in two months’ time.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represents funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.

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