Westwood Financial Announces First Quarter 2024 Results

Westwood Financial Announces First Quarter 2024 Results

Westwood Financial, a leading commercial retail real estate investment firm, announced updates today on its financial and operational results for the three months ended March 31, 2024, which included:

First Quarter 2024 Highlights

  • Executed 15 new leases totaling 25,000 square feet and 47 renewals totaling 193,000 square feet
  • Achieved total leased percent of 96.8% vs. 96.3% same quarter end 2023 (+50 bps)
  • Achieved an inline shop leased percent of 94.6% vs. 93.8% same quarter end 2022 (+80 bps)
  • Achieved a total occupancy percent of 94.0% vs. 94.3% same quarter end 2022 (-30 bps)
  • Comparable new rent spreads were 18.4%; renewal rent spreads were 8.9%
  • Paid off one maturing CMBS loan for $4 million using unsecured credit facility proceeds

“Westwood started off 2024 with another consistent quarter of operating results, strongly executing on both financial and operational performance metrics. Apart from maintaining operational and cashflow consistency to our entire investor base, the Company remains focused on executing capital market transactions that synergistically coincide with the overall portfolio profile,” stated Mark Bratt, Chief Executive Officer. Although Westwood did not execute any capital market transactions during the first quarter, the company remains primed to execute when accretive opportunities become available. “So far in 2024, we are seeing significantly more transaction activity in the capital markets versus the last few quarters of 2023. Although transaction volume has increased, interest rates have also remained elevated, solidifying Westwood’s strategy to remain disciplined and diligent in selecting specific assets that coincide with the Company’s overall investment objectives” continued Mr. Bratt. The Company currently has one acquisition in Atlanta and one disposition in Phoenix that are both currently under contract, expected to close during the second quarter of 2024. “In addition to acquiring and divesting assets within the core fund, Westwood is also exploring opportunities to acquire properties for syndication, ultimately adding another layer of investment opportunities to both current and prospective investors,” added Mr. Bratt. The Company is currently analyzing transactional opportunities in the pipeline with the intention of presenting to prospective investors later this year.

Separately, the Company has approximately $100 million of mortgage debt maturing in 2025 which will be a key focus throughout this year. “As part of the overall long-term strategy for the Company, one of the key components to maximizing portfolio value is through capitalizing on accretive financing,” furthered Mr. Bratt. Ultimately through refinancing, the Company aims to reposition itself with the intention of expanding its borrowing capacity.

Through the execution of 15 new leases (25,000 sq. ft.) and 47 lease renewals (193,000 sq. ft.), Westwood’s operational performance in the first quarter of 2024 improved vs. the same period in 2023, highlighted by an increase of 50 bps in the portfolio’s total leased percentage from 96.3% to 96.8%. “Our leasing efforts within the existing portfolio emphasize not only the quality of existing assets, but the performance of our leasing team to execute quickly in securing tenants for both new leases and renewals. Additionally, despite the current level of market uncertainty, it is encouraging to see the Company and portfolio continue its strong level of operational performance,” concluded Mr. Bratt. Over the course of the next year, the Company plans to actively pursue increased exposure and growth in its core Sunbelt markets, aiming to capitalize on market opportunities that streamline with the portfolio’s overall strategic objectives.

About Westwood Financial

Westwood Financial owns, manages, and operates 127 high-quality shopping centers in top U.S. metropolitan markets, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix, and Raleigh. The centers are primarily anchored by top-tier grocers and leading service and experiential-based operators. Established in 1970, Westwood Financial is headquartered in Los Angeles, with regional offices in Atlanta, Dallas, and Phoenix.