Liberty Acquires D.C. Property


Liberty Property Trust (LRY) recently acquired a property in Washington, D.C. for $133.5 million. The property – 2100 M Street NW – is a nearly 291,000 square feet, eight-story office building, which is currently 77% occupied with space available for lease of 66,366 square feet.

It has a premium location with a decent amenity base within a three-block radius. Also, it enjoys easy accessibility for being in close proximity with the Red and Orange/Blue Metro rail lines.

The property has retail tenants like The UPS Store of United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) and M Street Store. Moreover, its office tenants are The Urban Institute, George Washington University, Stewart & Stewart, GSA-SSA.

The deal brings in leasable space to Liberty Property, whose current downtown properties are mostly occupied (99% leased). Moreover, it offers opportunities to redevelop and expand to a maximum of 415,000 square feet.

Last month, Liberty Property reported first-quarter 2013 FFO (funds from operations) of 65 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents. The result was attributable to a consistent performance of the overall portfolio as well as strong leasing and development activities.

Liberty Property currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Two other REIT stocks that are performing well and deserve a look include CubeSmart (CUBE) and The Macerich Company (MAC), both carrying a Zacks Rank #2.

Note: Funds from operations, a widely accepted and reported measure of REITs performance, are derived by adding depreciation, amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

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