Weingarten Realty Focusing on Improving Portfolio Quality, Decreasing Risk

Drew Alexander, president and CEO of Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE: WRI), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2018 Annual Conference in San Francisco.

Alexander commented that Weingarten remains active in the search for acquisitions, but the outlook remains “very competitive for the quality of properties that we want to buy.” In the meantime, Weingarten has increased its dispositions guidance. “It’s all about the strategy of improving the quality of the portfolio, [and] decreasing the risk,” he said.

Weingarten has been able to sell bottom-tier properties at about net asset value (NAV), when the stock is trading at a discount to NAV, “which we think has to be a good long-term approach,” Alexander said.

Meanwhile, Weingarten is active in some select new development projects “where we can find the right opportunities,” Alexander said. As for redevelopment, he noted that the REIT is particularly excited about the addition of a luxury high-rise residential tower at the River Oaks shopping center in Houston.

Alexander also stressed the importance of having a diversified tenant base. “Retail is ever-changing and diversification is very good for safety, continuity, and continued earnings growth.”