Wheeler REIT Buying Shopping Centers at Fast Pace

Jon Wheeler, chairman and CEO of Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust Inc. (NASDAQ: WHLR), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2015: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.

Wheeler said he expects the company’s pace of acquisitions to pick up in the second half of 2015. He noted that the firm raised investment capital in the first half of the year. Usually, the firm purchases between eight and 10 shopping centers per year. This year, the company could buy as many as 20, according to Wheeler.

In terms of where those acquisitions might be located, Wheeler REIT focuses on secondary and tertiary geographic markets. Wheeler described the Southeast as a “sweet bullseye” for the company. This includes states such North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, according to Wheeler.

What would be an ideal portfolio size for Wheeler REIT? Wheeler said the company is on pace to have approximately 100 shopping centers in its portfolio by the end of 2017, which would be in line with his goal when the company went public in 2012.