Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2022
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Investment Properties
The Company records investment properties and related intangibles at fair value upon acquisition. Investment properties include both acquired and constructed assets. Improvements and major repairs and maintenance are capitalized when the repair and maintenance substantially extends the useful life, increases capacity or improves the efficiency of the asset. All other repair and maintenance costs are expensed as incurred.
The Company allocates the purchase price of acquisitions to the various components of the asset based upon the fair value of each component which may be derived from various observable or unobservable inputs and assumptions. Also, the Company may utilize third party valuation specialists. These components typically include buildings, land and any intangible assets related to out-of-market leases, tenant relationships and in-place leases the Company determines to exist. The Company determines fair value based on estimated cash flow projections that utilize appropriate discount and capitalization rates and available market information. Estimates of future cash flows are based on a number of factors including the historical operating results, known trends and specific market and economic conditions that may affect the property. Factors considered by management in the analysis of determining the as-if-vacant property value include an estimate of carrying costs during the expected lease-up periods considering market conditions, and costs to execute similar leases. In estimating carrying costs, management includes real estate taxes, insurance and estimates of lost rentals at market rates during the expected lease-up periods, tenant demand and other economic conditions. Management also estimates costs to execute similar leases including leasing commissions, tenant improvements, legal and other related expenses. Intangibles related to out-of-market leases, tenant relationships and in-place lease value are recorded at fair value as acquired lease intangibles and are amortized as an adjustment to rental revenue or amortization expense, as appropriate, over the remaining terms of the underlying leases.
The Company records depreciation on buildings and improvements utilizing the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the asset, generally 5 to 40 years. The Company reviews depreciable lives of investment properties periodically and makes adjustments to reflect a shorter economic life, when necessary. Tenant allowances, tenant inducements and tenant improvements are amortized utilizing the straight-line method over the term of the related lease or occupancy term of the tenant, if shorter.
Amounts allocated to buildings are depreciated over the estimated remaining life of the acquired building or related improvements. The Company amortizes amounts allocated to tenant improvements, in-place lease assets and other lease-related intangibles over the remaining life of the underlying leases. The Company also estimates the value of other acquired intangible assets, if any, and amortizes them over the remaining life of the underlying related intangibles.
The Company reviews investment properties for impairment on a property-by-property basis whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of investment properties may not be recoverable. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, declines in the property’s cash flows, occupancy and fair market value. The Company measures any impairment of investment property when the estimated undiscounted future operating income before depreciation and amortization, plus its residual value, is less than the carrying value of the property. Estimated undiscounted operating income before depreciation and amortization include renewal and renegotiations of current leases, estimates of new leases on vacant spaces, estimates of operating costs and fluctuating market conditions. The renewal and renegotiations of leases in some cases must be approved by additional third parties outside the control of the Company and the tenant. If such renewed or renegotiated leases are approved at amounts below current estimates, then impairment adjustments may be necessary in the future. To the extent impairment has occurred, the Company charges to income the excess of the carrying value of the property over its estimated fair value. The Company estimates fair value using unobservable data such as operating income, estimated capitalization rates, or multiples, leasing prospects for vacant spaces and local market information. These valuation assumptions are based on the three-level valuation hierarchy for fair value measurement and represent Level 3 inputs. Level 3 inputs are unobservable inputs that are supported by little or no market activity and that are significant to the fair value of the assets or liabilities.     

Assets Held For Sale and Discontinued Operations
The Company may decide to sell properties that are held for use. The Company records these properties as held for sale when management has committed to a plan to sell the assets, actively seeks a buyer for the assets, and the consummation of the sale is considered probable and is expected within one year. Properties classified as held for sale are reported at the lower of their carrying value or their fair value, less estimated costs to sell. When the carrying value exceeds the fair value, less estimated costs to sell, an impairment expense is recognized. The Company estimates fair value, less estimated closing costs, based on similar real estate sales transactions. These valuation assumptions are based on the three-level valuation hierarchy for fair value measurement and represent Level 2 and 3 inputs. Level 2 inputs are quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets; quoted prices for identical or similar assets in markets that are not active; and inputs other than quoted prices. Level 3 inputs are unobservable inputs that are supported by little or no market activity and that are significant to the fair value of the assets or liabilities. See Note 3 for additional details on impairment of assets held for sale for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021.

Assets held for sale are presented as discontinued operations in all periods presented if the disposition represents a strategic shift that has, or will have, a major effect on the Company's financial position or results of operations. This includes the net gain (or loss) upon disposal of property held for sale, the property's operating results, depreciation and interest expense.
Conditional Asset Retirement Obligation
A conditional asset retirement obligation represents a legal obligation to perform an asset retirement activity in which the timing and/or method of settlement depends on a future event that may or may not be within the Company’s control. Currently, the Company does not have any conditional asset retirement obligations. However, any such obligations identified in the future would result in the Company recording a liability if the fair value of the obligation can be reasonably estimated. Environmental studies conducted at the time the Company acquired its properties did not reveal any material environmental liabilities, and the Company is unaware of any subsequent environmental matters that would have created a material liability. The Company believes that its properties are currently in material compliance with applicable environmental, as well as non-environmental, statutory and regulatory requirements. The Company did not record any conditional asset retirement obligation liabilities as of December 31, 2022 and 2021.
Cash and Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash
The Company considers all highly liquid investments purchased with an original maturity of 90 days or less to be cash and cash equivalents. Cash equivalents are carried at cost, which approximates fair value. Cash equivalents consist primarily of bank operating accounts and money markets. Financial instruments that potentially subject the Company to concentrations of credit risk include its cash and cash equivalents and its trade accounts receivable. The Company places its cash and cash equivalents with institutions of high credit quality.

Restricted cash represents amounts held by lenders for real estate taxes, insurance, reserves for capital improvements, leasing costs and tenant security deposits.
The Company places its cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash on deposit with financial institutions in the United States, which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company ("FDIC") up to $250 thousand. The Company's loss in the event of failure of these financial institutions is represented by the difference between the FDIC limit and the total amounts on deposit. Management monitors the financial institutions credit worthiness in conjunction with balances on deposit to minimize risk.
Tenant Receivables
Tenant receivables include base rents, tenant reimbursements and receivables attributable to recording rents on a straight-line basis. The Company determines an allowance for the uncollectible portion of accrued rents and accounts receivable based upon customer credit-worthiness (including expected recovery of a claim with respect to any tenants in bankruptcy), historical bad debt levels, and current economic trends. The Company considers a receivable past due once it becomes delinquent per the terms of the lease. The Company’s standard lease form considers a rent charge past due after five days. A past due receivable triggers certain events such as notices, fees and other allowable and required actions per the lease. As of December 31, 2022 and 2021, the Company’s allowance for uncollectible tenant receivables totaled $3.15 million and $633 thousand, respectively.
Above and Below Market Lease Intangibles, net

The Company determines the above and below market lease intangibles upon acquiring a property. Above and below market lease intangibles are amortized over the life of the respective leases. Amortization of above and below market lease intangibles is recorded as a component of rental revenues.

Deferred Costs and Other Assets, net
The Company’s deferred costs and other assets consist primarily of leasing commissions, leases in place, capitalized legal and marketing costs, tenant relationships and ground lease sandwich interest intangibles associated with acquisitions. The Company’s lease origination costs consist primarily of the portion of property acquisitions allocated to lease originations and commissions paid to third parties in connection with lease originations. The Company generally records amortization of lease origination costs on a straight-line basis over the terms of the related leases. Amortization of deferred costs and other assets represents a component of depreciation and amortization expense.

Paycheck Protection Program

The Company received proceeds of $552 thousand (the "PPP funds") pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program (the "PPP") under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act.

The PPP funds were received in the form of a promissory note, dated April 24, 2020 (the “Promissory Note”), between the Company and KeyBank as the lender. Under the terms of the CARES Act, the Promissory Note was forgiven during the year ended December 31, 2021 and the corresponding forgiveness of the liability was recorded as "other income" on the consolidated statements of operations.

Derivative Financial Instruments

The Company does not use derivative instruments to hedge exposures to cash flow, market, or foreign currency risks. The Company evaluates all of its financial instruments, including stock purchase warrants and convertible notes, to determine if such instruments are derivatives or contain features that qualify as embedded derivatives. For derivative financial instruments that are accounted for as liabilities, the derivative instrument is initially recorded at its fair value and is then re-valued at each reporting date, with changes in the fair value reported in the consolidated statements of operations. The assumptions used in these fair value estimates are based on the three-level valuation hierarchy for fair value measurement and represent Level 3 inputs. Level 3 inputs are unobservable inputs that are supported by little or no market activity and that are significant to the fair value of the assets or liabilities.
Debt Issuance Costs

The Company may incur debt issuance costs in connection with raising funds through debt. These costs may be paid in the form of cash, or equity (such as warrants and convertible notes). These costs are amortized to interest expense over the life of the debt. If a conversion of the underlying debt occurs, a proportionate share of the unamortized amounts is immediately expensed. Debt issuance costs are presented as a direct deduction from the carrying value of the associated debt liability in the consolidated balance sheets.

Revenue Recognition

Lease Contract Revenue
The Company has two classes of underlying assets relating to rental revenue activity, retail and office space. The Company retains substantially all of the risks and benefits of ownership of these underlying assets and accounts for these leases as operating leases. The Company combines lease and nonlease components in lease contracts, which includes combining base rent and tenant reimbursement revenue.

The Company accrues minimum rents on a straight-line basis over the terms of the respective leases which results in an unbilled rent asset or deferred rent liability being recorded on the balance sheet. At December 31, 2022 and 2021, there were $6.52 million and $5.77 million, respectively, in unbilled rent which is included in "rents and other tenant receivables, net."
Additionally, certain lease agreements contain provisions that grant additional rents based on tenants’ sales volumes (contingent or percentage rent). Percentage rents are recognized when the tenants achieve the specified targets as defined in their lease agreements as variable lease income.

The Company’s leases generally require the tenant to reimburse the Company for a substantial portion of its expenses incurred in operating, maintaining, repairing, insuring and managing the shopping center and common areas (collectively defined as Common Area Maintenance or “CAM” expenses). This significantly reduces the Company’s exposure to increases in costs and operating expenses resulting from inflation or other outside factors. These reimbursements are considered nonlease components which the Company combines with the lease component. The Company calculates the tenant’s share of operating costs by multiplying the total amount of the operating costs by the tenant's pro-rata percentage of square footage to total square footage of the property. The Company also receives monthly payments for these reimbursements from substantially all its tenants throughout the year. The Company recognizes tenant reimbursements as variable lease income.

Additionally, the Company has tenants who pay real estate taxes directly to the taxing authority. The Company excludes these Company costs paid directly by the tenant to third parties on the Company’s behalf from both variable revenue payments recognized and the associated property operating expenses. The Company does not evaluate whether certain sales taxes and other similar taxes are the Company’s costs or tenants' costs. Instead, the Company accounts for these costs as tenant costs.

The Company recognizes lease termination fees, which are included in "other revenues" on the consolidated statements of operations, in the year that the lease is terminated and collection of the fee is reasonably assured. Upon early lease termination, the Company records losses related to unrecovered intangibles and other assets.
The below table disaggregates the Company’s revenue by type of service for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 (in thousands):
Years Ended December 31,
2022 2021
Minimum rent $ 57,533  $ 45,896 
Tenant reimbursements - variable lease revenue 16,665  13,120 
Straight-line rents 800  1,060 
Percentage rent - variable lease revenue 558  531 
Lease termination fees 134  139 
Other 1,316  803 
     Total 77,006  61,549 
Credit losses on operating lease receivables (361) (239)
     Total $ 76,645  $ 61,310 

Income Taxes
The Company has elected to be taxed as a REIT under Sections 856 through 860 of the Internal Revenue Code and applicable Treasury regulations relating to REIT qualification. In order to maintain this REIT status, the regulations require the Company to distribute at least 90% of its taxable income to stockholders and meet certain other asset and income tests, as well as other requirements. If the Company fails to qualify as a REIT, it will be subject to tax at regular corporate rates for the years in which it fails to qualify. If the Company loses its REIT status it could not elect to be taxed as a REIT for five years unless the Company’s failure to qualify was due to reasonable cause and certain other conditions were satisfied.
Management has evaluated the effect of the guidance provided by GAAP on Accounting for Uncertainty of Income Taxes and has determined that the Company had no uncertain income tax positions.

Financial Instruments
The carrying amount of financial instruments included in assets and liabilities approximates fair market value due to their immediate or short-term maturity.

Use of Estimates
The Company has made estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and revenues and expenses during the reported periods. The Company’s actual results could differ from these estimates.
    Corporate General and Administrative Expense
    Corporate general & administrative expenses consist of the following (in thousands):    
Years Ended December 31,
2022 2021
Professional fees $ 3,810  $ 3,116 
Compensation and benefits 2,276  1,465 
Corporate administration 1,901  1,771 
Advertising costs for leasing activities 319  119 
Other 314  669 
     Total $ 8,620  $ 7,140 

Other Expense

Other expense represents costs which are non-operating in nature. Other expenses were $691 thousand and $185 thousand for the year ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 respectively, and consist of legal settlement costs.

Lease Commitments

The Company determines if an arrangement is a lease at inception. Operating leases, in which the Company is the lessee, are included in operating lease right-of-use (“ROU”) assets and operating lease liabilities on our consolidated balance sheets.

ROU assets represent the right to use an underlying asset for the lease term and the lease liabilities represent our obligation to make lease payments arising from the lease. Operating lease ROU assets and liabilities are recognized at commencement date based on the present value of lease payments over the lease term. As most of the Company's leases do not provide an implicit rate, the Company uses its incremental borrowing rate based on the information available at commencement date in determining the present value of lease payments. The operating lease ROU assets include any lease payments made and excludes lease incentives. The Company's lease terms may include options to extend the lease when it is reasonably certain that the company will exercise that option. Lease expense for lease payments is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term.

The Company elects the practical expedient to combine lease and associated nonlease components. The lease components are the majority of its leasing arrangements and the Company accounts for the combined component as an operating lease. In the event the Company modifies existing ground leases or enters into new ground leases, such leases may be classified as finance leases.

Noncontrolling Interests
Noncontrolling interests is the portion of equity in the Operating Partnership not attributable to the Trust and noncontrolling interest attributable to the acquisition of Cedar. The ownership interests not held by the parent are considered noncontrolling interests. Accordingly, noncontrolling interests have been reported in equity on the consolidated balance sheets but separate from the Company’s equity. On the consolidated statements of operations, the subsidiaries are reported at the consolidated amount, including both the amount attributable to the Company and noncontrolling interests. Consolidated
statements of equity include beginning balances, activity for the period and ending balances for stockholders’ equity, noncontrolling interests and total equity.
The noncontrolling interest of the Operating Partnership common unit holders is calculated by multiplying the noncontrolling interest ownership percentage at the balance sheet date by the Operating Partnership’s net assets (total assets less total liabilities). The noncontrolling interest percentage is calculated at any point in time by dividing the number of units not owned by the Company by the total number of units outstanding. The noncontrolling interest ownership percentage will change as additional units are issued or as units are exchanged for the Company’s $0.01 par value per share common stock ("Common Stock"). In accordance with GAAP, any changes in the value from period to period are charged to additional paid-in capital.

The noncontrolling interest attributable to the acquisition of Cedar represents the fair value of Cedar's outstanding 7.25% Series B Preferred Stock ("Cedar Series B Preferred") and 6.50% Series C Preferred Stock ("Cedar Series C Preferred") as of August 22, 2022, the date of acquisition. The valuation assumption was based on the three-level valuation hierarchy for fair value measurements and represents Level 1 inputs. Level 1 inputs represent observable inputs that reflect quoted prices (unadjusted) for identical assets or liabilities in active markets. The total cumulative dividends for the Cedar Series B Preferred and Cedar Series C Preferred were $3.91 million as of December 31, 2022 and are included as a reduction to net loss attributable to Wheeler REIT Common Stockholders on the consolidated statements of operations during the year ended December 31, 2022.

Recently Adopted Accounting Standards

In August 2020, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") 2020-06, “Debt—Debt with Conversion and Other Options (Subtopic 470-20) and Derivatives and Hedging—Contracts in Entities Own Equity (Subtopic 815-40).” This ASU simplifies accounting for convertible instruments by eliminating two of the three models in ASC 470-20 that require separating embedded conversion features from convertible instruments. In addition, ASU 2020-06 requires the application of the if-converted method for calculating diluted earnings per share and the treasury stock method will be no longer available. The guidance is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021. We adopted this guidance effective January 1, 2021 under the modified retrospective adoption approach. There was no effect to the opening balance of retained earnings at the date of adoption. The comparative information has not been restated and continues to be presented according to accounting standards in effect for those periods.

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, "Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments." This update enhances the methodology of measuring expected credit losses to include the use of forward-looking information to better calculate credit loss estimates. The guidance will apply to most financial assets measured at amortized cost and certain other instruments, such as accounts receivable and loans. The guidance will require that the Company estimate the lifetime expected credit loss with respect to these receivables and record allowances that, when deducted from the balance of the receivables, represent the net amounts expected to be collected. This guidance is effective for fiscal years, and for interim reporting periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2022, however the Company is early adopting as of January 1, 2022. In November 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-19 to clarify that operating lease receivables, including straight-line rent receivables, recorded by lessors are explicitly excluded from the scope of Topic 326. The adoption of this standard did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

Other accounting standards that have been issued or proposed by the FASB or other standard-setting bodies are not currently applicable to the Company or are not expected to have a significant impact on the Company’s financial position, results of operations and cash flows.