- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRIT) bought a 101,741-square-foot industrial warehouse in Prince George’s County last week, continuing its whirlwind campaign of acquisitions.

WRIT is paying $11.7 million for the 9950 Business Parkway warehouse, located in the Washington Business Park at the intersection of Forbes Boulevard and Route 450 in Lanham.

“We believe it has great near-term returns, and there’s some leasing opportunity there,” said Sara Grootwassink, WRIT’s chief financial officer.

The company owns 76 properties, including retail, office, medical, industrial and residential space.

The 9950 Business Parkway is 79 percent leased to two large national tenants, Dal-Tile Corporation and Brook Furniture Rental.

• Earlier this month, WRIT acquired the Montrose Shopping Center and the Randolph Shopping Center, two neighborhood, mixed-use retail centers totaling 227,276 square feet in Rockville for $50.3 million. Both of them are located near Rockville Pike and the White Flint Metro Station.

Montrose Shopping Center, containing 145,151 square feet of retail space, is 58 percent leased. On the other side of Nebel Street, the 82,125-square-foot Randolph Shopping Center is 91 percent leased.

WRIT plans to renovate the properties for higher-density, mixed-use development as major road expansions that serve the area are completed.

Last month, WRIT acquired the first two buildings in a four-building, 175,289-square-foot medical office portfolio for $67 million. Three of the buildings are in Rockville, within a quarter-mile of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. The fourth, a 33,341-square-foot building in Bel Air, is within a mile of the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.

The medical offices are 100 percent leased to 38 tenants.

Also in April, WRIT announced it acquired Alexandria Professional Center, a 12-story 113,048-square-foot medical office building for $26.9 million.

The property sits beside I-395 in Alexandria near Inova Alexandria Hospital. The property is 100 percent leased to 36 tenants.

The rapid pace of the acquisitions are the culmination of a long effort by WRIT, Miss Grootwassink said.

“All of these properties have been in the pipeline for quite some time,” she said.

In other news …

JPI Development Partners has entered into an agreement for a 99-year ground lease of the Peacock Buick site, a 3.5-acre site in the Tysons Corner area of Northern Virginia.

It is one of several redevelopment projects planned along the Route 7 corridor to take advantage of the proposed Metrorail expansion.

JPI Development plans to turn the site into a mix of apartments and retail outlets.

“This site in Tysons Corner is among the top retail as well as residential locations in the Washington area,” said Michael Zacharia, vice president of CB Richard Ellis, the real estate firm that arranged the deal.

Peacock Buick is the second Northern Virginia automobile dealership in a month to sell out to developers.

Late last month, JBG Cos. acquired the 100,000-square-foot property of Bob Peck Chevrolet in Arlington for $26 million.

Property Lines appears Thursdays. Call Tom Ramstack at 202/636-3180 or e-mail [email protected]

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