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First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (FR - Snapshot Report), a real estate investment trust (REIT), has recently completed its exit from the Columbus market, when it sold a 56-acre property at 4300 Cemetery Road in Hilliard, Ohio, for $5.3 million. The property was sold to an affiliate of real estate development company Continental Real Estate Cos. for an upcoming commercial and residential mixed-use development project.

Earlier, First Industrial had completed the sale of 10 industrial properties in September 2012. The company had sold nearly 3 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space in the region to Dallas-based Westmount Realty Capital LLC and Garrison Investment Group of New York for $38.7 million.

The September transaction resulted in a loss for First Industrial as it had reportedly bought the 10-property portfolio for $65.5 million over a period of time from 1996 through 2007. However, with the asset sale, the company expected to improve its bottom line as the properties had been a drag on the overall performance with high vacancies.  

First Industrial continuously augments the overall quality of its portfolio by selling non-core assets and increasing its liquidity. The company expects to meet both its short-term and long-term liquidity needs with proceeds from asset sale, the issuance of additional secured debt, and through continued equity issuance.

First Industrial owns and operates industrial real estate assets and provides supply chain solutions to multinational corporations and regional customers that range from 1,000 square feet to over 1 million square feet in leading industrial markets.

Since its inception in 1994, the company has developed a niche for premier industrial space across major markets in North America, including bulk and regional distribution centers, light industrial and other industrial facility types.

We presently have a Neutral recommendation for First Industrial. We also have a Neutral recommendation for Brandywine Realty Trust (BDN - Snapshot Report), a competitor of First Industrial.

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