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Wells Continues Acquisition Spree

Wells Real Estate Investment Trust has been busy this week. The unlisted office and industrial REIT spent over $245 million to buy two office buildings, including a 410,000 sq. ft. New Jersey office building and a 929,694 sq. ft. Minneapolis property. The latter property was sold to Wells by Equity Office Properties Trust for $174 million.

The average occupancy rate between both buildings combined is more than 99.4%, according to Wells. The New Jersey property is 100% leased and occupied by Citicorp, who use the building as an operations center. Their long-term lease expires in seven years. Wells typically buys well leased, Class-A assets with tenants on long-term leases.

"It’s hard to find a more solid, creditworthy tenant than Citicorp. We’re proud to have them join the tenants in our portfolio of Class-A office and industrial properties," says David Steinwedell, Wells’ chief investment officer.

Over the past 16 months, Wells has been on an acquisitions spree, gobbling up over $1.4 billion worth of office properties nationwide. They may well have been the biggest buyer of Class-A office properties in the nation last year. For 2003, Wells is projecting an acquisitions target of $2.5 billion. Wells pays all cash for its properties.

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