Weingarten CEO: Transitioning but in Touch with its Grocery Roots
Weingarten hasn’t been a grocery store since 1985, but the REIT still gets most of its money from grocers—CEO Drew Alexander (right, with Enterprise Real Estate Advisors’ Nelson Spitz—they took speech together at UT) says 75% of its income is from grocery-anchored centers. For the last five years, it’s been transforming again. It sold off its industrial portfolio and has been selling older/smaller centers to decrease debt (it’s down to a very low 35% loan to corporate value rate) and reinvest in higher caliber properties. The whole process has shrunk Weingarten’s Texas portfolio; even though it’s based in Houston and Drew loves the market, Wall Street prefers it not be weighted heavily here.