Maryland REIT scoops state’s tallest tower, assumes debt

Maryland-based Corporate Office Properties Trust has purchased the 37-story Transamerica Tower at 100 Light Street for $121m, assuming with it $55m of debt provided by Northwestern Mutual.

Earlier this week we reported on the sale of Seattle’s tallest tower — now the peak of Baltimore, Maryland’s skyline has sold in the state’s deal of the decade.

Maryland-based Corporate Office Properties Trust has purchased the 37-story Transamerica Tower at 100 Light Street for $121m, assuming with it $55m of debt provided by Northwestern Mutual.

TransThe price tag is reportedly the highest paid for any single building for the state of Maryland since April 2005, when another REIT, Wells Real Estate Investment Trust II, paid more than $207m to buy a 28-story office tower at East Pratt Street.

Yet another REIT, Lexington Realty Trust, acquired the Transamerica Tower in December of 2006 as part of a portfolio sale when Lexington Realty Trust merged with Newkirk Realty Trust in 2006, refinancing the 550,000 sq ft property with the $55m Northwestern Mutual loan in June of 2012.

In 2008, a tenant under a net lease — Legg Mason — vacated the property and Lexington implemented a $46m redevelopment plan and subsequently leased substantially all of the office space to several tenants.

The New York-based real estate investment trust intends to utilize the proceeds for investment in single-tenant properties with long-term leases.

“This disposition completes another successful repositioning of an asset that had high vacancy following the expiration of a single-tenant lease,” said T. Wilson Eglin, Lexington’s CEO. “The stabilization of this asset and sale following a period of intensive asset management is an important part of our capital recycling strategy, which is designed to maximize the value of our multi-tenanted properties and create liquidity for investments in single-tenant properties subject to long-term leases.”

The transaction marks COPT’s second purchase of a prominent downtown Baltimore office building this year, having acquired 250 West Pratt Street in March for nearly $64m.

The Transamerica Tower was completed in 1973. The fully-leased property is the tallest building in Baltimore. Formerly known as the Legg Mason Tower, anchor tenants include Transamerica, Miles & Stockbridge P.C. and Ober Kaler.  

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