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Real estate trust buys 3 Columbia buildings


Corporate Office Properties Trust announced yesterday that it has acquired three more office buildings in Columbia.

The buildings bring COPT's total to 57 buildings in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and 10 in Columbia Gateway business park. That includes an office building under construction and expected to open in the fourth quarter.

"The company has been successful, through both acquisition and development activities, in creating a critical mass of Class A office buildings in the premiere business park in Howard County," Randall M. Griffin, COPT's president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. "This reinforces our strategy of becoming the dominant owner of Class A office space in the markets we serve. In addition, these buildings feature strong lead tenants, are well-leased and offer excellent upside potential to create additional value for the company."

Two of the new buildings are fully leased, and the Columbia-based real estate investment trust plans to redevelop the third to suit larger tenants. The buildings together comprise 142,000 square feet.

COPT bought the buildings from an affiliate of State Farm Insurance Co., which also leases space in one of the buildings. Griffin declined to disclose the purchase price.

In another recent acquisition, CSG Industrial Partners has joined with Prudential Real Estate Investors to acquire seven office buildings in Columbia. CSG is an affiliate of the Baltimore-based real estate investment and development company Creaney & Smith Group.

The properties are in the Corridor 32 Business Center, Route 100 Industrial Park and Colgate Ridge Tech Center. They were previously owned by Creaney & Smith and GE Capital.

The Columbia portfolio is the second acquisition for the companies, which have established a $250 million real estate investment fund.

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