An affiliate of Blackstone Group, the New York private equity firm, will buy 23 industrial properties in Virginia, Maryland and the District as part of a sell-off of local property by Bethesda-based First Potomac Realty Trust.
With the sale, First Potomac makes another step in transitioning from an owner of large plots of industrial properties and suburban office parks to one more interested in office buildings in core employment areas.
In all, First Potomac will sell 4.3 million square feet for $259 million, it announced in a press release Monday. For $241.5 million an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII will buy the majority, about 4 million square feet that includes 16 assets totaling 2.6 million square feet in southern Virginia and seven others in Maryland and the District.
First Potomac will sell I-66 Commerce Center, in Haymarket, to Corporate Office Properties Trust, for $17.5 million.
Douglas J. Donatelli, chairman and chief executive of First Potomac, called the move in “the most critical step in our strategy of repositioning our portfolio to focus on high-quality office properties in the region.”
“We believe the sale, combined with the targeted portfolio management initiatives we have implemented, positions us well for continued growth in the greater Washington, D.C. office sector,” Donatelli said in the release.
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