HOUSTON-Weingarten Realty, a REIT with about 70 million squarefeet of retail and industrial properties, posted a net income dropin the first quarter to $10.2 million, from $33.1 million in Q12009, and funds from operations totaling $48.9 million in the firstquarter, compared to $67.2 million for the same period a year ago.However, there was positive news for the company , increasingoccupancy to 92.2% from 91.8% in Q4 2009.

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During a conference call Friday, company officials were upbeatabout the high occupancy, a war chest of $100 million in availablecash a high level of renewals. “(We) weathered the economicdownturn very effectively,” said Drew Alexander, president and CEO,during the call. “We are pleased with our operations progress.Recently, we have seen activity pick up as assets were slowlytrickling into the market. We evaluated many assets and portfolios,and have some deals working. We expect deal flows to increasetoward the end of the year, and in the next year, we have talentedhuman resources focused on approximately 10 major markets that weare targeting for growth.”

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He said the company hopes to acquire about $100 million inassets this year. The trust has 10 active projects in thedevelopment pipeline, with three of those properties expected tostabilize this year.

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There were some other negative figures. The trust reported sameproperty NOI to be at negative 2.6 for the first quarter, and adecrease of 4% overall for signed leases in the first quarter.

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“We do not think the economy is totally healthy,” Alexandersaid. However, he said he’s hearing a positive tone throughout theindustry. “Some of the themes…include more aggressive store openingplans from over 90% of our retailers and restaurants. Manyretailers are increasingly open to altering their prototypefootprints to fit into existing space configuration. And moreretailers are open to grocery-anchored co-tenancy vs. focusing juston the power center sector.”

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