Weingarten Realty Investors (WRI), a Houston-based real estate Investment trust. (REIT), has long been committed to Houston. Of 113 properties in six states, approximately 82 percent of the company’s portfolio is located here. WRJ has seven projects in north Houston. Attracted by the area’s quality of life, phenomenal growth and excellent transportation network, WRI began developing in north Houston in 1976 with the 350,000-sq-foot North Oaks Mall.
According to David Daleiden, Director of Research for Weingarten Realty and Chairman of NHA’s Research Committee, “We are well represented on the northside and believe the area has a tremendous future. It is certainly an area we are looking at for future projects due in large part to the potential growth projected.”
WRI continues to be very active in north Houston, and its most recently developed shopping center is Randall’s/Cypress Station (1-45 and FM 1960 West). Developed in 1986, the center received a 55,000-square-foot addition last year.
Other activity includes the company’s most recent acquisition of Central Park North. Located near Sam Houston Parkway and Hardy Toll Road, the five building project contains more than 150,000 square feet. WRI also has designated 20 acres of unimproved land in The River Pointe mixed-use project for its next proposed community shopping center. In addition, Humblewood Shopping Center, which WRI developed in 1976 at U.S. 59 and FM 1960, is currently undergoing a major renovation and remerchandising of some of tenants.
“The new toll road and improvements to the north/south freeways, coupled with improvements to the airport and the growth of the two major master-planned residential communities, keep us busy researching new proposals for north Houston,” Daleiden says. “I think the northside has as many- if not more- pluses as other areas of Houston.”
WRI was founded in 1948 to develop free-standing stores for Weingarten Supermarkets, the former Houston grocery chain. The company, which specializes in developing neighborhood and community shopping centers, was restructured in 1985 to a REIT, went public that same year, and is now listed on The New York Stock Exchange. Known as one of the Southwest’s most prominent real estate firms, WRI is a recent addition to Business Week’s top U.S. 1,000 companies, is ranked as the nation’s 37th largest owner of shopping centers and third largest in Texas. WRI’s 113 properties aggregate some 10 million square feet of building area. The portfolio includes l00 shopping centers, 10 industrial projects, two multifamily complexes and an office building serving as company head quarters. WRI’s projects are in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Maine and New Mexico.