By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor
Whitestone REIT has received approval from the City of Mesa, Ariz. for additional entitlements that will allow it to expand an upscale lifestyle community center at 1758 S. Val Vista Drive.
The company’s core strategy is to add value through buying, operating, redeveloping and repositioning service-based community centered properties. By adding a mix of retail and restaurant space, multifamily housing and a hotel to the Village Square at Dana Park community center, Whitestone is determined to enhance the property’s appeal and generate additional operating net income and cash flow.
Village Square at Dana Park is conveniently located just off the Superstition Freeway in Phoenix’s Southeast Valley, and currently encompasses 309,445 square feet of space. According to Whitestone, the planned expansion will add 126,000 square feet of retail space, 390,000 square feet of residential space, as well as a 175-key hotel. Back in 2012, the REIT paid $50.5 million—or roughly $162 per square foot—for the property in an off-market transaction.
“We successfully implemented our plan to create a complementary mix of grocery, specialty boutique, dining and daily needs service tenants, which increased the net operating income of this high-end center and raised the occupancy rate to 92% from 71% at the time we acquired it in September 2012,” Jim Mastandrea, chairman & CEO at Whitestone, said in a statement. The center’s tenant roster currently includes Anthropologie, Mad Greens, Ann Taylor Lofts, Chico’s, Z Gallerie, Pei Wei, and Pita Jungle, among many others.