HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI) announced transaction activity for the fourth quarter and for the full year 2020 and provided a COVID-19 update.
2020 Transaction Activity
During the fourth quarter, the Company purchased 42% of Village Plaza at Bunker Hill center with proceeds from the Company’s simultaneous disposition of Overton Park Plaza in Fort Worth, Texas, which marks its exit from that market. Village Plaza at Bunker Hill, of which the Company is now the sole owner, is a 492,000 square foot center in Houston, Texas. It is anchored by a 128,000 square foot H-E-B grocer, Burlington and Academy Sports + Outdoors. This property is one of the top shopping centers in Houston with 140,000 people and average incomes of $141,000 in a 3-mile radius.
Additionally, the Company exited Charlotte, North Carolina with the sale of Galleria Shopping Center.
For the full year, the Company’s dispositions included eleven shopping centers and four land parcels totaling $248 million. In addition, WRI purchased two shopping centers and four buildings in existing centers for $167 million and invested approximately $75 million in its three large new development projects. The Company also paid a special dividend of $46 million in December 2020.
“Purchasing the remainder of Bunker Hill is a major accomplishment. Anchored by H-E-B, one of the finest grocers in the nation and other national retailers, this purchase further strengthens our outstanding grocery-anchored portfolio. The proceeds from our disposition program allowed us to fund our 2020 acquisitions and the special dividend we paid our shareholders as well as basically finish funding our New Development program. All of these transactions reinforced our solid balance sheet and strong liquidity position, which positions us for future opportunities,” said Drew Alexander, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Collections continue to trend upward with fourth quarter cash collections of 92% with essential tenants and restaurants at 94%.
“Given the continued pandemic-related challenges, we are very pleased with our strong cash collections metrics. This clearly demonstrates the resilience of our transformed portfolio of primarily grocery-anchored centers that provide basic goods and services,” said Johnny Hendrix, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
For further details of the updated collections information, please refer to the Company’s Capital One REIT Conference investor presentation that can be found on its website at www.weingarten.com.
About Weingarten Realty Investors
Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE: WRI) is a shopping center owner, manager and developer. At September 30, 2020, the Company owned or operated under long-term leases, either directly or through its interest in real estate joint ventures or partnerships, a total of 162 properties which are located in 15 states spanning the country from coast to coast. These properties represent approximately 31.0 million square feet of which our interests in these properties aggregated approximately 21.0 million square feet of leasable area. To learn more about the Company’s operations and growth strategies, please visit www.weingarten.com.
Statements included herein that state the Company’s or Management’s intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations or predictions of the future are “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 which by their nature, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. The Company’s actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include those related to the COVID-19 pandemic, about which there are still many unknowns, including the duration of the pandemic and the extent of its impact, as well as those discussed in the Company’s regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which include other information or factors that may impact the Company’s performance.