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HOUSTON-Weingarten Realty Investors has spent $37.7 million for two shopping centers in Miami and Fairview Heights, IL. One seller is Woolbright Development Inc. of Boca Raton, FL, and the other is a joint venture backed by Koman Properties Inc. of St. Louis.

At the year’s start, the Houston-based REIT said it would spend $200 million to $300 million this year on acquisitions. With the latest purchases, it’s up to seven properties, totaling 1.9 million sf, for an aggregate of $123.2 million.

In Miami, Woolbright let go of the fully occupied 110,900-sf Tamiami Trail Shops at the southwest corner of Tamiami Trail and Southwest 137th Avenue. In a press release, Soraya Tyriver, a Woolbright director, said the retail center was bought in August 2002 for about $12.7 million in partnership with TAM Real Estate Investors as part of a “stabilized acquisition program” that seeks to collect 120% appreciation in five years. “We were able to achieve this goal in one year,” she said, crediting the property’s leasing and management teams and declining cap rates to the quick resale.

Tamiami Trail is anchored by Publix and Eckerd Drug. It sits at one of Miami’s busiest intersections. With the takeover, Weingarten now owns five properties in the Miami area and 16 in Florida.

In a St. Louis suburb across the Illinois line, Weingarten acquired the second phase to an existing holding. The new portfolio piece is the 98.6%-leased, 168,400-sf Lincoln Place II at the northwest corner of Route 159 and Long Acre Drive. It is anchored by Marshall’s, Linens ‘N Things, Office Depot, Old Navy and Ultimate Electronics. The first phase, 103,000 sf, was built about four years and then sold to Weingarten. It’s anchored by a Kohl’s and Lowe’s.

A Koman spokeswoman said Lincoln Place II was completed in August 2002, at which time Weingarten expressed interest in buying it from Lincoln Place II Inc. and Forum Acquisitions Inc., entities of St. Louis-based developer Koman Properties Inc.

“Lincoln Place II was a natural fit for us as it provides us operating synergies along with our preexisting center,” Drew Alexander, Weingarten’s president and CEO, said in a press release.

Tracy Pursell, Weingarten’s investor relations director, says the REIT’s purchases are very opportunistic. The REIT tries to identify the amount it will spend on acquisitions in a given year, but there is no preset goal as to how much or how many properties will be purchased. Retail acquisitions are typically between 100,000 sf and 400,000 sf filled by creditworthy tenants.

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