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Edited Transcript of OFC earnings conference call or presentation 1-May-19 4:00pm GMT

Q1 2019 Corporate Office Properties Trust Earnings Call

COLUMBIA May 7, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Corporate Office Properties Trust earnings conference call or presentation Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 4:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Anthony Mifsud

Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & CFO

* Paul R. Adkins

Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & COO

* Stephanie M. Krewson-Kelly

Corporate Office Properties Trust - VP of IR

* Stephen E. Budorick

Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee

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Conference Call Participants

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* Blaine Matthew Heck

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - Senior Equity Analyst

* Christopher Ronald Lucas

Capital One Securities, Inc., Research Division - Senior VP & Lead Equity Research Analyst

* Craig Allen Mailman

KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst

* David Bryan Rodgers

Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst

* Emmanuel Korchman

Citigroup Inc, Research Division - VP and Senior Analyst

* James Colin Feldman

BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst

* Jason Daniel Green

Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Analyst

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Welcome to the Corporate Office Properties Trust First Quarter Earnings Conference Call. As a reminder, today's call is being recorded. At this time, I will turn the call over to Stephanie Krewson-Kelly, COPT's Vice President of Investor Relations. Miss Krewson-Kelly, please go ahead.

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Stephanie M. Krewson-Kelly, Corporate Office Properties Trust - VP of IR [2]

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Thank you very much. Good afternoon, and welcome to COPT's first quarter 2019 conference call. With me today are Steve Budorick, President and CEO; Paul Adkins, Executive Vice President and COO; and Anthony Mifsud, EVP and CFO. In addition to the supplemental package and press release related to our results, we posted slides on the Investors section of our website to accompany management's remarks. On our website and in the press -- results press release, you will find reconciliations of GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures management discusses. At the conclusion of management's remarks, we will open the call for questions.

Statements made during this call may be forward-looking within the meaning of the safe harbor of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and actual results may differ materially due to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors. Please refer to yesterday's press release and our SEC filings for a detailed discussion of forward-looking statements.

I will now hand the call over to Steve.

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [3]

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Thank you, and good afternoon. We're off to a strong start in 2019. As anticipated, the healthy defense spending environment that propelled our record leasing in 2018 continues this year. Our concentration in the defense industry is being rewarded with new leasing opportunities with defense contractors for both new facilities and expansion space. The strength of this environment is evidenced by the 1.1 million square feet of development in vacancy leasing completed through April.

We're seeing strong activity in all 5 categories of demand previously outlined. First, defense contractors continue to require additional space to execute incremental contract awards. Through April, we completed 236,000 square feet of vacancy leasing, an amount that already exceeds the volume we completed in the first half of last year. And these leases were predominantly at Defense/IT locations.

Second. To date, we've completed 126,000 square feet of leasing related to deferred U.S. government demand. This includes the 34,000 square-foot lease we completed in January as well as another 92,000 square feet signed with the government in April at various locations in our portfolio.

Third, demand continues to exceed supply in Huntsville. The 2 speculative buildings we started last year at Redstone Gateway are now stabilized. And based on our current discussions with defense contractors, we're planning our next speculative building to create inventory to meet requirements.

Fourth, major pre-lease and build-to-suit demand from defense contractors is accelerating. Recall that this time last year, we thought we would start to see this type of demand as early as 2019. Last year, ahead of expectations, we captured 2 deals: a defense contractor build-to-suit driven by a new government award, which we executed in June; and then later in the year, we commenced RG 8800, a 76,000 square-foot building in Huntsville to capture a known pre-lease opportunity, which we executed in the first quarter.

Yesterday, after markets closed, we issued 2 press releases announcing more than 350,000 square feet of development leasing at Redstone Gateway with 2 different defense contractors. The first press release announced a 37,000 square feet lease with Abaco Systems, a manufacturer of rugged embedded computing solutions for military, defense, aerospace and industrial applications for the remaining space at RG 8800, which is now 100% leased. The second press release announced the 4-building build-to-suit campus for Yulista Aviation. That will be over 300,000 square feet. Yulista will occupy their campus by the end of 2020.

In our data shell business, we executed leases for 2 buildings, totaling 431,000 square feet. These 2 transactions represented the 8th and 9th facilities in the 11-deal pipeline we introduced at the end of 2017. We expect to announce the final 2 leases later this year, completing the 11 -- the leasing of the 11-facility program. We continue to work with our customer on additional facilities beyond that program.

So in the past 12 months, we've completed 13 build-to-suit and major pre-lease transactions for defense contractors totaling 1.7 million square feet, 7 leases exceeding 500,000 square feet for traditional defense contractor facilities and 6 data center shell leases totaling 1.2 million square feet.

The fifth category of demand recovery is associated with the government returning to long-term planning and expansion at our secured campuses. Last month, we started 100 Secured Gateway, the first building in our secure campus at Redstone Gateway. We've been in discussions with the government and we've started construction to meet their space and timing requirements. We also remain in discussions with other government users for new facilities at our secure campuses, including additional prospects in Huntsville.

Combining the first quarter development leasing with deals recently signed with Abaco and Yulista, we've already met our annual development leasing goal of 900,000 square feet and we're increasing our full year target by 0.5 million square feet to 1.4 million square feet in total. When achieved, this volume of development leasing will be the highest ever in our 21-year history. Because our development leasing success to date significantly exceeds our original plan, we're upsizing the development, investment and asset sales guidance ranges in our full year forecast. The increased volume of asset sales is slightly dilutive to this year's results, but the expanded investment pipeline being funded will generate outsized FFO growth in 2021.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Paul.

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Paul R. Adkins, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & COO [4]

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Thanks, Steve. Last year's leasing momentum continues as demonstrated by the depth and breadth of leasing opportunities in our operating portfolio and new developments. Within our operating portfolio, we completed 126,000 square feet of vacancy leasing in the quarter, which is 77% above first quarter 2018's vacancy leasing volume. In April, we completed another 110,000 square feet, bringing our 4-month total to 236,000 square feet, which is 26% higher than the vacancy leasing we completed in the first half of last year. Nearly 75% of the vacancy leasing was in the Fort Meade B/W Corridor subsegment, where we are currently tracking 640,000 square feet of activity against 725,000 square feet of vacancy. Both the leasing and demand are primarily with defense, cybersecurity and technology users.

In Northern Virginia, our NoVA Defense/IT subsegment was 92.1% leased at the end of the first quarter. We are tracking 327,000 square feet of demand against the approximate 250,000 square feet of current and pending vacancy in that subsegment.

At our 4 Northern Virgina regional office buildings, we leased 20,000 square feet of vacancy in the first quarter. We are working 72,000 square feet of activity against 85,000 square feet of vacancy. Roughly 3/4 of this demand is looking on our Pinnacle buildings, which continue to benefit from their Metro access and from the mixed-use developments being constructed around them.

Our Navy Support subsegment is 91.3% leased, and we are working 132,000 square feet of demand against a 108,000 square feet of vacancy.

In Huntsville and in Texas, we have 1.6 million square feet of operating properties and we have 0 vacancy.

Our pre-lease development projects continue to support cash flow growth and value creation. During the first quarter, we placed 181,000 square feet into service that were 100% leased. We will place another 715,000 square feet into service during the remainder of this year that today, is already 99% leased, for a total of 896,000 square feet of fully leased buildings that would boost future results.

Demand for new development in 2019 has exceeded our expectations. And as Steve mentioned, we've already completed 900,000 square feet of development leasing, 52% of which has been with cyber and defense industry tenants in Huntsville and the Fort Meade B/W Corridor and 48% of which was in 2 data center shells. Our Yulista deal at Redstone Gateway best illustrates the demand we are experiencing for new facilities that are precipitated by DoD awards. Yulista is an aerospace defense contractor headquartered in Huntsville. Last December, they won a $4.7 billion contract from one of the major commands at Redstone Arsenal. This new award triggered their need for a modern, efficient campus that is closer to the government customer and resulted in the transaction we announced yesterday, a 4-building build-to-suit campus at Redstone Gateway. Yulista's campus will exceed 300,000 square feet and will be operational by the end of 2020.

Demand for newly developed facilities has been strong, and we expect it to remain so. On our last call, our shadow development pipeline contained up to 2.5 million square feet of potential transactions. Today, notwithstanding the 900,000 square feet of transactions we have executed to date, our shadow development pipeline contains up to another 2.8 million square feet of possible deals serving government users, defense contractors and including additional data center shells. Accordingly, we are raising our development leasing target for the year to 1.4 million square feet, which would make 2019 a record year in our 21-year history for development leasing. As demonstrated by the 1.1 million square feet of vacancy and development leasing executed to date, the healthy defense spending environment continues to support a growing number of methodical and deliberate procurement decisions amongst government users and defense contractors. We expect our ongoing discussions with these customers to lead to additional investment opportunities and look forward to updating you.

With that, I'll hand the call over to Anthony.

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Anthony Mifsud, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & CFO [5]

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Thanks, Paul. First quarter FFO per share of $0.50 was at the high end of guidance primarily due to the impact of lower weather-related costs. The benefit of last year's record leasing are beginning to flow through our same-property results. The 1.4% year-over-year increase in same-property occupancy to 92.7% and cash rent commencements supported the 4.7% increase in same property cash NOI. Guidance for full year same property cash NOI growth of 1.5% to 3% remains unchanged.

Tenant retention of 71.3% in the quarter was in line with full year guidance of 70% to 75%, and leasing economics were in line with our expectations.

During the first quarter, cash rents on renewing leases declined 6.8%. This roll-down related to a handful of leases, one of which was a 98,000 square-foot renewal at Maritime Plaza in DC, which accounted for 60% of the impact. We anticipated these transactions in our original full year guidance in cash -- for cash rents on renewals, which we continue to forecast will roll flat to down 2%.

Regarding our full year guidance, we are increasing our expected asset sales to fund the expanded volume of development opportunities. As Slide 17 in our presentation shows, we are increasing our full year development spend guidance by $75 million to between $325 million and $375 million, increasing our disposition guidance by the same amount to a new range of $200 million to $225 million.

We are in advanced stages of executing a transaction with an institutional investor to recycle capital at attractive valuations. We expect the transaction to close in the second quarter. The increased volume of dispositions enables us to fund these expanded development opportunities with the appropriate level of equity to maintain our strong balance sheet. And we forecast our year-end debt-to-EBITDA ratio will be approximately 6x. The net effect of these changes is $0.01 of dilution to our original full year FFO per share guidance, and the $2.03 midpoint of our revised range implies 1.5% growth over 2018 FFO per share.

We are also establishing second quarter guidance in the range of $0.50 to $0.51. This range reflects the remaining 1.6 million shares we issued in March from the final $46.5 million funding of our forward equity program. In addition, second quarter guidance includes same-property cash NOI growth of 2% to 3%, and the expectation that same-property occupancy will end the quarter between 92% and 93%.

With that, I'll turn the call back to Steve.

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [6]

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Thank you, Anthony. Development opportunities are accelerating and we're adjusting our 2019 plan accordingly. Our plan remains straightforward and low risk: leverage demand strength to drive occupancy in our operating portfolio, capitalize on our expanding set of development opportunities in our markets, internally source the equity for our development investment and maintain balance sheet strength and flexibility. Our pipeline of active developments now stands at 1.9 million square feet, which is about 11% of the current size of our total operating portfolio. Moreover, those 1.9 million square feet of developments are 81% leased today and will be substantially or fully leased when they're placed into service. The $0.01 of dilution we're incurring this year to internally fund the greater volume of development investments, is well worth the outsized FFO growth per share we expect to achieve in late 2020 and for the full year in 2021.

With that, operator, please open up the call for questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from the line of Jason Green of Evercore.

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Jason Daniel Green, Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Analyst [2]

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I was wondering if you guys could talk about financing expectations moving forward, and generally, where you're comfortable using equity. And in the absence of additional equity, how much runway you have to complete the current pipeline without additional dispositions beyond where your guidance is right now?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [3]

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So we're not comfortable accessing equity when we're trading below NAV. And our plan, with the equity that we plan to raise, we have sufficient capital to complete the developments we've announced and what we've guided to. And we have additional capacity beyond that if our opportunity set increases.

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Jason Daniel Green, Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Analyst [4]

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Okay, and then -- and maybe you've given -- given you're on the ground in Huntsville, how much additional space do you think on a square footage basis needs to be built in the Huntsville area just to support the amount of growth in headcount that they're going to experience in the next 2 to 3 years?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [5]

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Two to 3-year forecasts based on the nature of that question would be tough for me to give. I can tell you that we have great demand for the value proposition of our park, and we expect additional success in the near term.

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Jason Daniel Green, Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Analyst [6]

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Okay. And then last question from me. Just on the outperformance of Huntsville, is that in any way taking government space that otherwise would have leased in Virginia down to Huntsville? Or are they completely different?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [7]

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Completely different. So there are many new weapons and research programs that are being funded out of the Redstone Arsenal with the variety of the commands there. And what you're seeing is a combination of growth and repositioning the more modern facilities for efficiency to serve the customer, based on very long-term contract awards.

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Operator [8]

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Our next question comes from the line of Manny Korchman of Citi.

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Emmanuel Korchman, Citigroup Inc, Research Division - VP and Senior Analyst [9]

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Just flipping through your deck, a couple of things stood out, and I don't think we've touched them on the call. One of them was the DC-3 sale, which is going to weigh on 2020 FFO. Could you just go through that a little bit? And also, any other potential large items that we should watch out for into 2020?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [10]

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So DC-3 was a, it's a legacy asset the company's owned for about 20 years. It was an office building constructed with a moderately sized data center component connected to it. It's located in Annapolis, Maryland, and its long-term lease will expire near the end, if not at the end of the year. The tenant has a little flexibility. This (inaudible) best use is as a land parcel, so we've already executed a land lease with a user, very long-term land lease that will create some significant value. And we will sell that upon fulfillment of our obligations under the land lease.

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Emmanuel Korchman, Citigroup Inc, Research Division - VP and Senior Analyst [11]

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And any other large items like that, that we should be watching out for?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [12]

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No.

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Emmanuel Korchman, Citigroup Inc, Research Division - VP and Senior Analyst [13]

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And then a question on just development. If you're thinking about the yields you're getting on build-to-suits versus inventory or spec projects, how big is that? Or how wide is that margin?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [14]

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Well, let me address spec. So on the build-to-suits, they're very comparable. Our build-to-suit threshold is an 8% cash yield on cost. Our spec is 8.5%.

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Operator [15]

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Our next question comes from the line of Blaine Heck of Wells Fargo.

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Blaine Matthew Heck, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - Senior Equity Analyst [16]

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So following up on that a little bit, when we think about future growth and how dispositions play a part, how should we think about the mix of properties you guys are willing to sell or JV versus the properties you guys are going to keep on the balance sheet? Is it just a matter of selling at the lowest cap rate and keeping the highest yielding properties? Or are those kind of one and the same? And then in that case, how do you make the decision?

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Anthony Mifsud, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & CFO [17]

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Well, I think we've talked to you in the past about always thinking about the Regional Office portfolio as potential capital that we would recycle into the development pipeline. And I think we have been consistent talking about how each of those 7 assets in the areas that they're in, have value-creating opportunities that we're executing between now, over the next 12 to 24 months. So until that value creation process is completed, we would continue to focus, probably more on our shell program as a source of capital because that is clearly the most attractive cost of capital that we can access and clearly has a very deep number of institutional investors who are interested in investing in those assets. So I think until we complete that value creation work that we're doing on the 7 Regional Office assets, we'll continue to focus in the shell program.

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Blaine Matthew Heck, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - Senior Equity Analyst [18]

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And I guess, in the case of any potential kind of shell JVs, the mix of the properties being contributed into that JV determined by you guys solely, or by the partner? How does that work?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [19]

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It's solely at our discretion.

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Blaine Matthew Heck, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - Senior Equity Analyst [20]

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Okay. That's helpful. Maybe one for Paul, out of curiosity. So you guys are obviously excited about the defense spending budget and what that should mean for leasing, for good reason. Are there any emerging trends you guys are seeing amongst your potential tenants that make you nervous, like becoming more efficient with space like we saw with the legal tenants and financial tenants or looking to be closer to mass transit or maybe any other trends that could be a disruptor to kind of the effects that this increase in defense spending and its effect on your leasing in your portfolio?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [21]

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No, we're not. The one trend we see is incremental growth with incremental contract awards. And that's really driven by the history that we lived through from 2011 through '16 after the Budget Reform and Control Act. That compelled defense contractors to accelerate their consolidation and efficiency because they had to compete on margin as opposed to market share. And so what we've been experiencing ever since the increased funding in these Defense budgets is the incremental win requires incremental capacity and incremental bodies. And so we don't see that at all. With regard to relocating the urban locations, it's really not applicable to our business at all, with regard to the Defense business. The missions we serve are the downtown of the environments that they operate in. Proximity to the Defense customer is and continues, and will always be the primary factor for the value of a location.

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Paul R. Adkins, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & COO [22]

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And just to put a finer point on that. Actually, one of the more salient trends of the last few quarters has been the uptick in new leasing in the Fort Meade B/W Corridor, where in the last 2 quarters we've leased 270,000 square feet of vacancy leasing. And then so far in this quarter, we've already knocked down 92,000 square feet of leasing. So the trend is not any rightsizing. It's actually increased velocity and demand within that corridor.

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Operator [23]

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Our next question comes from Craig Mailman of KeyBanc Capital.

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Craig Allen Mailman, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst [24]

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Anthony, you mentioned the advanced stage of TQ asset sales. Apologize if I missed this, but did you give a magnitude and composition of that?

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Anthony Mifsud, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & CFO [25]

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The magnitude would be in line with the guidance that we put out yesterday, which would be up to the $225 million.

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Craig Allen Mailman, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst [26]

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And should we assume that this is the data center or not?

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Anthony Mifsud, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & CFO [27]

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You can assume that.

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Craig Allen Mailman, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst [28]

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Okay. So kind of closer to 5 cap?

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Anthony Mifsud, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & CFO [29]

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We're not going to discuss economics at this point.

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Craig Allen Mailman, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst [30]

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Okay. That's fair. And then, just on the new leasing or the vacancy leasing you guys did in the quarter, post quarter end, was any of that the balance of 310 NBP?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [31]

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No. None of that activity was 310. We did some in the first quarter, and we continue to have discussions with the customer. But as we said on our last call, we don't expect anything to happen until near the end of the year. And nothing regarding that building will affect our 2019 business plan.

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Craig Allen Mailman, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst [32]

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Okay, all right. That's helpful. And then, just on the incremental 500,000 square feet, it sounds like you guys have the next 2 shells. So the predominant portion of that should be data centers, right? You guys don't anticipate any more announcements in Huntsville or elsewhere in the kind of Defense/IT leasing?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [33]

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Stay tuned, Craig. We're very confident we're going to hit that objective. There will be 2 data center shells in there, or we expect to have 2 but we expect some additional Defense/IT development as well.

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Craig Allen Mailman, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst [34]

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Okay. And just you guys did a lot on a square footage basis, but some of the buildings in Huntsville are sort of less expensive R&D buildings. So I guess as you guys look at sort of a record on square footage, but if you look at like dollar volume and impact to forward growth, I mean, are you guys still in record territory when you look at it on that basis? Or is kind of more trend towards the average?

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Paul R. Adkins, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & COO [35]

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Yes, I think we're pretty close to -- between the development pipeline right now that's in the ground is 1.9 million square feet. That is, in terms of total development cost, it's almost $0.5 billion. If you take 2100 L Street out of that, it's still 1.7 million square feet and $325 million. So I think as we continue to look at the investment opportunities that we have, that number is going to continue to expand.

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Craig Allen Mailman, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst [36]

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Okay. And then just one last one from me. You guys have a big chunk of the wholesale data center coming to maturity the next year, I think it's about $17 million of rent. Any early indications on the tenant discussion of staying or going, and how are you guys viewing that exposure?

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Paul R. Adkins, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & COO [37]

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Hey, Craig, it's Paul. We fully expect that tenant to renew its 11.25 megawatts for its next 5-year extension, without diminution in the rent.

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Craig Allen Mailman, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst [38]

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Perfect. And I think you said 11.25 megawatts. There's 12.5 megawatts? Is that all just 1 lease, or is there another tenant in that mix as well?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [39]

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There is another tenant in that mix who intends to renew. They might get a bit smaller, so there could be some contraction in that rent.

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Operator [40]

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Your next question comes from Jamie Feldman of Bank of America.

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James Colin Feldman, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst [41]

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So I think you had mentioned you're working on potentially another deal with the same client, with -- for the 11-deal data center program, kind of resetting that or doing more. Can you talk more about that?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [42]

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No. But -- I can, but I'm not going to give you any specifics. But what I will tell you is, the 11 buildings took longer because the assembly of the land sites were more complicated. In some cases, we ended up with surplus capacity. So we believe that capacity of the land that we have will be fulfilled. And we continue to work with that customer on longer-term identification of attractive parcels for their business in the future.

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James Colin Feldman, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst [43]

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Okay. So it sounds like you would be building out the remaining land and then maybe some incremental. Would it be still in that same region? Or is there a chance you would expand to other markets?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [44]

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Our discussions remain in the Northern Virginia region.

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James Colin Feldman, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst [45]

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Okay. And like kind of re-upping what you have now, like it could be a similar magnitude?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [46]

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Be more specific on the magnitude.

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James Colin Feldman, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst [47]

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Well, you have 11 buildings now. I mean, could it be another 11-building deal, something of that size?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [48]

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I don't think you'll see us move out on an 11, kind of building program. I think it'll be more, as what we've averaged over the 2012 to 2019 period, which is a couple a year.

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James Colin Feldman, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst [49]

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Okay. And then, I mean Huntsville clearly, you're starting to see the demand pick up and -- meaningfully. I mean can you paint the picture that any of your other areas, or any of your other markets might see that same kind of latent demand flowing, just given the timing of how things are playing out in some of these other areas? Or does Huntsville really stand out right now and probably will continue to?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [50]

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From a rate of growth standpoint, certainly Huntsville's #1. But we do see additional opportunities for new development in multiple markets.

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James Colin Feldman, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst [51]

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Okay. And then just to be clear on the funding. So is it safe to assume the more development announcements you announce, the more asset sales you'll do? And from what I heard before, it sounds like you'll use the data center JV shell or data center shell JV as the best way to do that? Is that kind of how we should be thinking about just the flow of things here going forward?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [52]

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In the current environment, yes, I would.

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James Colin Feldman, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst [53]

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Okay. And on the last call, I think you guys talked about a run rate. You get to, I think by the end of '19, you get to a 3% plus run rate for the next year. Did anything change? Has anything changed in that view? Or can you update that view, of how things look starting at year-end '19?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [54]

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Long-term view? Or are you talking about the fourth quarter?

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James Colin Feldman, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst [55]

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From the fourth, I think last quarter, you said like, starting in the fourth quarter, we'll have a certain percentage of growth rate going forward. How does that look like? Has anything changed?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [56]

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Well, what we cited was the growth rate of the fourth quarter over full year of 2018. And with the dilution we just took, we probably gave up 1%.

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James Colin Feldman, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst [57]

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Okay. But if you look ahead, has anything changed in your growth rate? Your expected growth rate?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [58]

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Well, in fact, it will be higher than we had expected before. And as we mentioned in the call, we expect outsized growth in 2021 with these fully leased buildings coming online in late 2020.

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Operator [59]

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(Operator Instructions) Our next question comes from the line of Dave Rodgers of Baird.

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David Bryan Rodgers, Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [60]

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Paul, I wanted to follow-up on some of your comments earlier. I think you said 1.4 million square feet of kind of tracking demand and maybe something to the tune of 2.8 million square feet in total beyond that shadow pipeline. But then you went through each of the major markets or submarket that you're operating in, and detailed demand, relative to vacancy. So I'll ask it open wide and then you can answer it how you want but, I guess there's 3 questions with regard to the demand that you're tracking in each of those major areas. One is timing. Are these 6- to 12-month deals or are you looking out maybe multiple years in terms of these awards? The second would be build-to-suit or demand for development relative to just filling existing pipeline? And then the third would be, with all of that demand, are you starting to see any more meaningful signs of rent growth?

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Paul R. Adkins, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & COO [61]

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Okay. Well, thanks for the question. To simplify it, when I was speaking to the demand, there's operating portfolio demand, number one. So when I was identifying demand, that was current activity looking to lease space against current vacancy. So we have about 1.2 million square feet of vacancy across our portfolio, or 93% plus leased. And we have at least that much activity against all of that vacancy. So that's the operating portfolio side of the equation. So the stats that I identified were tenants that are actively looking between 6 and 18 months to occupy a space in that -- in our current portfolio. And so the 1.4 million square feet was what we raised our development leasing target for the year, and did not include, in addition to that the shadow development pipeline of 2.8 million square feet for new development, so...

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [62]

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And the shadow development really looks at a 2-year window, Probability of 50% or better over a 2-year window.

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Paul R. Adkins, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & COO [63]

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Correct. So where we are is that 900,000 square feet of development leasing right now. We obviously raised our target 0.5 million square feet and have a pipeline, the shadow pipeline of 2.8 million square feet to achieve that new goal. Does that answer your question?

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David Bryan Rodgers, Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [64]

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Yes, that was helpful on clarity and color, so I do appreciate that. And then with regard to any movement in rent, I mean, are you starting to see with this incremental demand of just even on the operating side? Any movement in rent that would get you more excited about the underlying economics?

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Paul R. Adkins, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & COO [65]

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Well, I mean, in a few select locations, Navy Support, are raising rents a little bit. But in truth, the overall market fundamentals are flattish and it's still a pretty competitive market. The two areas where we are seeing some of that, obviously in Huntsville with our new development and leasing of our spec buildings. I think we're setting new rental rate records, high watermarks with our deals down there. And so there is upward pressure in Huntsville clearly, for obvious reasons as I, and as I mentioned. Navy Support has more demand than we have vacancy, so we're certainly in that situation, starting to incrementally raise rates. I will say that in Tysons Corner, rents are improving slightly, too. It is still a very competitive market. But I alluded to the demand that we have for our Pinnacle buildings so in the last year, we've probably seen an 8% increase in the rental rates that we're achieving in Tysons Corner.

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David Bryan Rodgers, Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [66]

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That's great and helpful. And then maybe just a quick follow-up for Anthony. The same-store NOI growth in the first quarter, obviously I think it was above your full-year target on a cash basis. Did you comment on anything that might have been in those numbers? Or I don't know if it was just some expense reimbursements. But just any clarity you can add to that and how that trends into 2Q.

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Anthony Mifsud, Corporate Office Properties Trust - Executive VP & CFO [67]

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As it trends into 2Q, our guidance is 2% to 3% for same property cash NOI growth. It was a bit outsized in the first quarter because we had some rent commencements in the second quarter of last year that we got the benefit of in the first quarter year-over-year comparison for this year.

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Operator [68]

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Our next question comes from Chris Lucas of Capital One.

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Christopher Ronald Lucas, Capital One Securities, Inc., Research Division - Senior VP & Lead Equity Research Analyst [69]

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Steve, just a question on the potential opportunities with the excess land. I guess the question I have is how does that excess land factor in sort of the return on cost expectations? Does it matter, or how has that been allocated to the stuff that you've already got in place?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [70]

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It's allocated fairly by -- on a square footage basis. So the returns will be consistent across all the assets on a given parcel.

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Christopher Ronald Lucas, Capital One Securities, Inc., Research Division - Senior VP & Lead Equity Research Analyst [71]

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And then on the potential for, I guess, JV-ing data center shells that I think, your initial stuff was done on a 50-50 JV, any thoughts as to how you think about the allocation going -- in a potential future deal, and how you think about what assets might make sense? Is that a longer duration lease situation or things, locationally? What sort of determinants are you looking at in terms of what you would contribute?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [72]

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I think I'm going to blatantly duck that question until our next call. We will be wrapping up the transaction that we're in the process of finalizing. And I think it would be more comfortable giving you some clarity at that point in time.

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Christopher Ronald Lucas, Capital One Securities, Inc., Research Division - Senior VP & Lead Equity Research Analyst [73]

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That's fair enough. And then I guess my last question. Just one with you guys talked about the shadow development pipeline of 2 million to 2.8 million feet. I guess the question I have is, just what's sort of the timeframe under which decisioning would be made on that? I mean, is it stuff that's kind of in the next year or 2 that you're tracking? Or is it stuff that has sort of a 5-year visibility to it?

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [74]

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It's really -- we track all the discussions we have, and then we qualify for that shadow development pipeline, based on an up to 2-year decision and 2 projects that we think we have a 50% likelihood or better of winning.

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Operator [75]

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I would now turn the call back over to Mr. Budorick for closing remarks.

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Stephen E. Budorick, Corporate Office Properties Trust - President, CEO & Trustee [76]

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Thank you, all, for joining in our call today. We're in our offices this afternoon, so please coordinate through Stephanie if you'd like to have a follow-up call. Thank you.

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Operator [77]

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Thank you for your participation in the Corporate Office Properties Trust first quarter conference call. This concludes the presentation. You may now disconnect. Good day.