Shopping Center REIT Weingarten “Cautiously Optimistic” on New Development

Drew Alexander, president and CEO of Weingarten Realty (NYSE: WRI), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWeek 2016: NAREIT’s Investor Forum at the Waldorf Astoria New York.

Weingarten owns and operates neighborhood and community shopping centers in major metropolitan markets located in 18 states across the country.

Alexander said the company remains “cautiously optimistic” about new development, noting that Weingarten is working on a number of complicated projects that can take many years to finalize.

As for recent tenant bankruptcies, Alexander said the company only had seven Sports Authority stores, representing less than 1 percent of its revenue.  “It’s something we can work through,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Alexander said Weingarten has been able to boost rents as its value-orientated retailers and supermarkets attract thousands of customers every week.

Alexander said the company is optimistic that in the long term it can achieve rent growth in the range of 10 percent to 15 percent.