REIT adds corner site to Tuscany Village commercial development in Gilbert

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Whitestone REIT, a Houston firm, said on Wednesday that it has completed a $1.7 million acquisition of a highly desirable hard-corner location at its Gilbert Tuscany Village commercial development in Gilbert, Arizona.

The corner lot, located at the busy intersection of Guadalupe Road and North Higley Road, contains a vacant (never-occupied) 14,603-square-foot Fresh & Easy Market store.

Ownership of the easily accessed spot greatly enhances the community-centered property's exposure, drive-by traffic visibility and signage opportunity. The addition is expected to enhance the marketability and overall economics of Gilbert Tuscany Village and Whitestone, which is currently engaged in discussions with potential restaurant operators to lease the property.

Gilbert Tuscany Village originally was purchased in June 2011 for $5 million. At that time, the occupancy rate of the center was 16 percent and has since grown to 89 percent. The 49,415-square-foot Class-A community-centered property — or 64,018 square feet with the newly acquired hard corner — is located in Gilbert, one of Phoenix's fastest-growing suburbs, rated among the nation's top places in which to live.

Whitestone is a fully integrated real estate investment trust that owns, redevelops and operates community-centered properties. The trust values a diversified local service-oriented tenant base, supporting specialty-retail and grocery stores, restaurants, and medical, educational and financial services. Founded in 1998, the company has a portfolio of 70 commercial properties across Texas, Arizona and Illinois.

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