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Corporate Office Properties Trust (OFC - Snapshot Report), an office real estate investment trust (REIT), recently signed lease agreements at its Redstone Gateway project in Huntsville, Alabama, for three Class A office buildings spanning 363,300 square feet. The deals were penned for an undisclosed amount.

Earlier In March 2010, Corporate Office Properties had formed a joint venture with Jim Wilson & Associates, LLC to develop Redstone Gateway. While Corporate Office Properties had 85% stake in the JV,  the remaining stake was taken by Jim Wilson.

Out of the three buildings in the leased project, 1000 Redstone Gateway is fully leased to a strategic tenant. Additionally, multiple leases have been signed for the remaining two office buildings named 1100 Redstone Gateway and 1200 Redstone Gateway, constructions of which are yet to be started. Corporate Office Properties expects occupancy of 1000 Redstone Gateway to start in mid-2013 and the occupancy of 1100 and 1200 Redstone Gateway buildings by the first quarter of 2014.  

The lease agreements are a significant strategic move by Corporate Office Properties as the properties enjoy a location advantage from which the tenants can serve the requirements of Redstone Arsenal, one of the largest army bases in the United States. This transaction further strengthens the company’s relationship with the Huntsville community.

In concurrence with the transaction, Corporate Office Properties’ construction pipeline, which stood at approximately 987,800 square feet as of June 30, 2012, will increase to 1.25 million square feet.  Earlier in June 2012, pre-leasing was 25% which has now increased to 58% approximately.

Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, Corporate Office Properties engages in the acquisition, development, ownership, management and lease of suburban office properties. It focuses primarily on serving the specialized tenant requirements of U.S. Government and Defense Information Technology tenants.

Corporate Office Properties currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. We also have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. One of its competitors, Liberty Property Trust also holds a Zacks #3 Rank.

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