Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Liberty Pares Office Holdings in $705M Sale

Liberty Property Trust said Friday it’s advancing its strategy to narrow its focus by selling off 97 mostly office properties and 159 acres of land for about $705 million. The REIT did not identify the buyer in the deal, which is expected to close in stages between the final months of 2013 and early 2014.
Totaling 6.6 million square feet, the portfolio includes four million square feet of office, 2.3 million square feet of flex space and 274,000 square feet of industrial. It includes the entirety of Liberty’s Jacksonville, FL portfolio, which comprises 32 of the 97 properties.
Also included are all 24 of Liberty’s office assets in Southern New Jersey, the 23 it owns in Maryland and the six it owns in the Fort Washington submarket of Philadelphia, and a dozen flex properties in Minnesota. Separately, Liberty announced on Thursday that it would sell Pender Business Park in Fairfax, VA for $31.5 million.
"This transaction furthers our strategy to increase our portfolio allocation to industrial real estate and to concentrate our office portfolio in fewer focused markets," says William P. Hankowsky, the REIT’s chairman and CEO. “We expect these steps to enhance our ability to exploit our expertise in creating and managing high-quality office environments in which we can create significant future value.” Four weeks ago, Liberty completed its $1.475-billion buy of the operating assets of Cabot Industrial Value Fund III.

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