Whitestone REIT Shows Keen Interest in Sugar Land

Whitestone REIT has made its first purchase in Houston since becoming publicly traded in 2010 with the purchase of a 262-square foot shopping center in the city's desirable Sugar Land community.
Williams Trace I 001

Henry S. Miller Cos. in partnership with New York City-based Dome Equities L.L.C. has traded the 262,213-square-foot Williams Trace Shopping Center in Houston’s desirable Sugar Land community to Houston-based Whitestone REIT for $40.7 million, price free and clear of existing debt, according to Henry S. Miller’s news release.

The acquisitions are Whitestone’s first in the Houston market since the company became publicly traded in 2010.

The Class A Retail plaza is situated on 26 acres at 2200-2400 State Highway 6. It was developed in two phases  from 1983 to 1985.  Williams Trace Plaza, at 129,222 square feet,  also known as Phase I is anchored by Randalls supermarket. Phase II, which will be called Shops at William Trace, is 132,991 square feet, anchored by a 30,000-square-foot 99 Market Ranch. Together the centers are 90 percent leased, including tenants such as Petco, Dollar Tree, Luby’s, Walgreens, GNC, Los Tios Mexican, Design Source, China King and State Farm.

The Williams Trace Shopping Centers are said to meet the needs of the growing Asian and young family population, whose household incomes average $115,000 per year in the surrounding 72,000 homes.

Sugar Land, a southwest Houston suburb is known nationwide as a thriving master-planned community where retail is booming. The area maintains a strong level of occupancy, which secures a stable cash flow. Unlike other parts of Houston, Sugar Land has tightly defined zoning and land-use  controls. The area us primarily residential with a mix of single-family homes.

“The two properties are our first major acquisitions in the Houston market and bring Whitestone’s Houston footprint to over 2.6 million square feet of leasable space in 33 Community Centered Properties,” said  James Mastandrea, Whitestone’s Chairman & Ceo in the news release. “What attracted us to Williams Trace Plaza and the Shops at Williams Trace is the highly complementary tenant mix and low historical tenant turnover, as well as the highly visible, prime location.”

The acquired centers are strategically located near high-profile corporations including Minute Maid, UnitedHealthcare, Texas Instruments, Schlumberger, Fluor Corp., The University Houston System at Sugarland, four leading healthcare facilities, according to the news release.

The Henry S. Miller investment sales team was led by CEO Greg Miller, SVP Chance Johnson and SVP John Downs. HFF, which arranged the sale of the property, was led by Senior Managing Director Rusty Tamlyn, Managing Director Ryan West, Associate Director Matt Berry and real estate analyst RobbieKilcrease.