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Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRE - Snapshot Report), an equity real estate investment trust (REIT), declared an extensive renovation plan of a VA-based office property – 7900 Westpark Drive – for an estimated cost of $30–35 million. The renovation work is projected to commence in fourth-quarter 2013.

7900 Westpark Drive is located at Tysons Corner and spans 525,000 square feet. According to the renovation plan, the interior and exterior of the property will undergo various changes – including the addition of a new glass curtain-wall facade, and an illuminated two-story entryway.

We view the proposed undertaking as a strategic long-term investment by Washington Real Estate. This is expected it to provide the company a considerable up-market potential and drive the value of the property.

In addition, Washington Real Estate announced its achievement of LEED EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for 7900 Westpark Drive and another Wash.-based property – 2000 M Street. The VA-based property got Silver Certification and 2000 M Street was awarded Gold Certification.

Including these 2 buildings, Washington Real Estate now has 6 LEED EB certified assets. We consider this achievement as noteworthy and expect the company to attain certifications for its other properties as well, thereby contributing toward its sustainability program.

Washington Real Estate invests in income-producing properties in the greater Wash. metro region. Currently, it owns a diversified portfolio of 69 properties spanning around 8 million square feet of commercial space and 2,540 residential units and land held for developments.

Washington Real Estate currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better performing REITs that are worth considering include CubeSmart (CUBE - Snapshot Report), DiamondRock Hospitality Co. (DRH - Snapshot Report) and DuPont Fabros Technology, Inc. (DFT - Snapshot Report), all of which carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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