Westwood Financial, a leading retail real estate investment firm, announced the Company’s progress on transactional and operational initiatives for year-end 2018.
Westwood acquired seven assets totaling $98.6 million and disposed of five assets totaling $43.6 million. The acquisitions were consistent with the firm’s two-pronged strategy that focuses on high-quality grocery-anchored assets and urban retail assets in the Company’s core markets. In 2018, these included two Sprouts-anchored centers in Phoenix and Atlanta and three urban Chicago assets primarily focused in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.
The Company secured long-term, fixed-rate financing primarily with multiple high-quality life insurance companies, raising $69.8 million in new loan proceeds at a weighted average interest rate of 4.45%. Additionally, Westwood extended its $100 million secured line of credit with Wells Fargo by three years.
Operationally, Westwood executed 182 new and renewal leases in 2018 totaling more than 666,000 square feet while generating renewal spreads of 9.0%, excluding anchors. The portfolio finished the year at 93.5% occupied.
Finally, Westwood executed on multiple organizational initiatives during 2018, including the completion of its inaugural fund-level audited financial package, and the hiring of executives Mark Bratt as Chief Executive Officer, and David Malayil as Executive Vice President of Leasing and Property Management.
Mark Bratt, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “As a board member of Westwood in 2018, I am very encouraged by the external and internal progress throughout the year. As the incoming CEO, I am even more excited by what the future holds as we continue to improve the organization and portfolio in order to maximize shareholder value and increase cash flow.”