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With focus on boosting its industrial assets base, Liberty Property Trust (LPT - Analyst Report) bought 5 Class A industrial properties (spanning 705,365 square feet in total) in Durham, NC. The buildings, known as Imperial Center, were acquired for $44 million.

The acquired properties are positioned at 4300 Emperor Boulevard, 4234 Surles Court, 1000 Parliament Court, 4227 Surles Court and 4226 Surles Court. These assets are fully occupied and enjoy proximity to I-40, I-540 and Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

We believe that this transaction is strategic fit given the location and high quality tenant base of the properties. As a matter of fact, the industrial property market in the Carolinas exhibited an upward trend in the first quarter, on the back of strong larger bulk distribution & manufacturing facilities demand, as per a report by Cushman & Wakefield Research.  We expect this trend to continue going forward.

Particularly, amid a larger customer base and rise in e-Commerce application and supply chain consolidation, there is an increasing demand for high-quality logistics facilities. And Liberty Property is aiming at capitalizing on this trend to drive its profitability going forward.

With this abovementioned buyout, the company’s portfolio in Triangle market – that houses leading technology firms – totaled 1.4 million square feet. Moreover, upon the transaction closure, Liberty Property will have 7 million square feet of industrial space in Carolinas, comprising 5.9 million square feet in NC and 1.1 million square feet in SC.

Liberty Property currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the REIT industry may consider stocks like The GEO Group, Inc. (GEO - Snapshot Report), Terreno Realty Corp. (TRNO - Snapshot Report) and Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT - Snapshot Report). All these stocks carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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