COPT announces Baltimore County sales, a preview of 2016 activity

Corporate Office Properties Trust said Monday it sold two properties in Baltimore County for $44.5 million, just two of a flurry of deals it has made since September and anticipates in the new year.

The Columbia-based real estate investment trust said it has closed more than $150 million in sales since the start of September and has an additional $95 million in sales under contract or with letters of intent to close next year. The firm said it anticipates at least $400 million in sales in 2016 — nearly double previous estimates.

"Given the growing demand for newly developed space in our strategic markets and the liquidity of the disposition environment, we are increasing sales of operating properties in 2016 from the $225 million originally planned, to between $400¿$425 million," said Roger A. Waesche, Jr., COPT's president and CEO in a statement.

Money from 2016 sales will help fund new development, including a 190,000-square-foot trophy office building in Washington, according to the firm. COPT also said it plans to start construction immediately on a new 144,500-square-foot project in Annapolis Junction, where the first tenant, a defense contractor that has leased half the building, is planning to move in 2017.

The two Baltimore County buildings represent a total of 246,000 rentable square feet located at 9690 Deereco Road and 375 W. Padonia Road in Lutherville-Timonium. COPT did not say who bought the properties. The firm also sold three Franklin Square Drive buildings in White Marsh in November for $24 million.

The firm said it expects funds from operations per share next year to be similar to 2015.

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