Whitestone (WSR) Boosts Houston Presence With Acquisition

Whitestone (WSR) acquires Lake Woodlands Crossing as part of its efforts to expand in the fast-growing, high-household-income markets in the Sunbelt region.

Whitestone (WSR) Boosts Houston Presence With Acquisition

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Image: Bigstock Zacks Equity Research December 23, 2022 LAMR WSR EQC VICI Trades from $1 You follow Analyst Blog - edit You follow Zacks Equity Research - edit Read MoreHide Full Article Whitestone REIT (WSR - Free Report) recently acquired Lake Woodlands Crossing, a retail property encompassing 60,246 square feet in The Woodlands, TX.The latest buyout in is sync with WSR's efforts to expand in the fast-growing, high-household-income markets in the Sunbelt region like Phoenix, AZ; Austin, TX, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, TX. With superior trade area demographics, the Sunbelt markets are likely to help the company ride the growth curve.The Woodlands houses several corporate campuses and businesses, including Huntsman Corporation, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, OXY and Woodforest National Bank. Particularly, Lake Woodlands Crossing is a premier location in a thriving community, service-oriented tenant mix providing convenience, connection and upside potential to lease the current 11% vacancy in the property.In addition, Lake Woodlands Crossing is a high-traffic center and benefits from a one-mile-radius average household income of more than $250,000. Hence, Whitestone is well-poised to benefit from continued growth in The Woodlands, making the acquisition a strategic fit. Whitestone's recent purchase marks its first acquisition in the Houston market since the 2017 purchase of BLVD Place, a Whole Foods Market-anchored property in the Uptown District.Per Dave Holeman, the CEO of Whitestone REIT, 'This acquisition brings our Houston portfolio to 14 properties and allows us to leverage our in-place leasing, property management and construction teams.'Of late, the company has been focusing on its ongoing asset management strategy. Since the third quarter of 2022, it has completed property dispositions of roughly $36 million. As a result, WSR reaped $34 million in net proceeds after prorations and transaction costs.The dispositions will enable Whitestone to reduce its debt and redeploy the proceeds to acquire premium properties that have greater upside potential.Further, WSR's asset management strategy adds to its balance sheet strength, poising it well to capitalize on long-term growth opportunities.Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have risen 12.1% in the quarter-to-date period compared with the real estate market's growth of 2.3%. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchStocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks from the REIT sector are VICI Properties (VICI - Free Report) , Lamar Advertising (LAMR - Free Report) and Equity Commonwealth (EQC - Free Report) .The Zacks Consensus Estimate for VICI Properties' current-year FFO per share is pegged at $1.92. VICI currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Lamar Advertising's 2022 FFO per share stands at $7.34. LAMR holds a Zacks Rank of 2 at present.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Equity Commonwealth's ongoing year's FFO per share is pegged at 33 cents. EQC sports a Zacks Rank #1 presently.Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs. finance reit

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