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Liberty Property Trust recently purchased a Class A distribution property spanning 535,000 square feet at 7533 Industrial Park Way in Macungie, Pennsylvania for approximately $32 million.

The property was developed five years ago but has remained vacant since then. The company also executed a long-term lease for 63% of the building spanning 337,500 square feet. The new tenant will occupy the space on January 1, 2012.

Liberty Property boasts a presence in multiple markets, thereby helping the company to mitigate geographical risk. In each of its markets, the company offers an appropriate mix of office and industrial properties, sufficient to be recognized as a significant participant in the market.

The distribution market in the Lehigh Valley is growing rapidly and with this transaction, Liberty Property seeks to strengthen its presence in this market. As the economy picks up, demand for distribution facilities across the region is expected to grow.

Based in Pennsylvania, Liberty Property provides leasing, property management, development, construction management, design management, and related services for a portfolio of industrial and office properties.  Currently, the company owns and manages more than 16 million square feet of office, flex and industrial space in the Lehigh Valley, and is the largest commercial real estate landlord in the region.

Liberty Property currently retains a Zacks #4 Rank, which translates into a short-term Sell rating. We are also maintaining our long-term Underperform recommendation on the stock. One of its competitors, Duke Realty Corp (DRE - Analyst Report) currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.

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