COLUMBIA, MD-Corporate Office Properties Trust has a robust development pipeline: specifically, the REIT has eight offices under construction and another three that began construction in early October. The projected cost of these 11 properties, which total 1.3 million square feet, is $307.9 million. Up until Oct. 17, this pipeline was 36% leased. The REIT, though, just announced a new tenant for a building under construction in Blue Bell, Pa., that pushes occupancy rate for these buildings to 54%.
The lease is for 51,000 square feet, space taken by a company that serves the pharmaceutical and biotech industries at Hillcrest II. It is the REIT’s most recent redevelopment start at its business park there. The building will comprise 184,000 square feet when it delivers. The tenant will occupy the building in the second quarter of 2013.
Huntsville, AL, is another part of the country where COPT is building—and inking leases as the projects get underway. Last month COPT signed three lease deals totaling 363,000 square feet at Redstone Gateway. COPT has scheduled to build Redstone Gateway, an office complex, in three phases.
COPT’s development projects are part of the REIT‘s plan to realign its operations and portfolio. It embarked on a strategic initiative more than a year ago to sell off non-core assets. CEO Roger A. Waesche, Jr., referred to the strategic initiative at the company’s most recent earnings report, saying that it was ahead of schedule on leasing, on selling non-strategic assets and in its deleveraging. “We remain focused on completing the strategic initiatives currently in progress to position the company for future growth,” he said.