Liberty Property shifts to industrial properties

November 21, 2013|By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun

A Pennsylvania real estate investment trust with extensive holdings in Maryland is shedding its office properties in favor of warehouses, a move driven by relatively high occupancy and strong profits in the industrial sector.

Liberty Property Trust has entered into an agreement to sell 97 office properties, including 23 in Maryland, to Greenfield Real Estate LLC for $705 million. The two-part deal is expected to close in December and January.

Those include office park parcels in Annapolis, Columbia and Hunt Valley.

In October, Liberty Property acquired the operating partnership of Cabot Industrial Value Fund III, which carried 177 industrial properties, including 16 in Maryland, for about $1.5 billion.

Liberty also has three new industrial spaces in the works in Maryland, which the company is building on a speculative basis in expectation of finding tenants.

"The recession has hit (the office market) hard," said Lisa Sullivan, Liberty Property vice president, who manages the Maryland office. "In our markets where we've had industrial, it's just performed very well."

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