Houston-based Weingarten Realty Investors, one of the nation’s largest shopping center REITs, has formed a joint venture with Boston-based AEW Capital Management in a $229 million recapitalization of 18 Texas retail centers. The 2.1 million sq. ft. portfolio includes 13 grocery-anchored centers, a regional power center and four neighborhood retail centers in infill locations in Houston, Galveston, San Antonio and Amarillo.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. of Milwaukee provided the financing, while New York-based Eastdil Secured advised Weingarten in the deal. The portfolio is 95% leased and supermarkets in the centers average sales of more than $500 per sq. ft. The joint venture acquiring the centers will be 65% leveraged. Weingarten owns 15% and 85% is owned by AEW's institutional client. Weingarten will be responsible for the ongoing management and leasing of the properties.

“This is AEW's third joint venture with Weingarten on behalf of three different institutional clients and we are very pleased with our ongoing relationship,” says Dan Bradley, director and portfolio manager at AEW.