ASHBURN, VA-Corporate Office Properties Trust has announced it has inked a deal with a subsidiary of an investment-grade Fortune 500 company to build two shell buildings on land the REIT owns here.
The Washington Business Journal reports that the mystery tenant is Amazon and the company will be using the buildings for a data center. If true, the deal illustrates COPT’s success in repositioning its portfolio to focus more on the private sector, as well as the data center asset class. Last year for example, COPT noted in an earnings call that even though it was marketing its Ashburn, VA-based data center to its core customer base, it was having difficulty due to the budget situation in Washington.
“But, similarly, we have expanded our marketing team and our marketing channels and we’re focused on large enterprise users from the commercial segment, as well as the smaller deals that kind of predominate the market currently,” Steve Budorick, EVP and COO said at the time.
That said, the REIT’s main focus is very much on the government—or at least, its targeted piece of the government. COPT has honed its investment strategy, to concentrate on serving Department of Defense elements that conduct intelligence and cyber activities.
COPT notes that the two buildings it is developing for this new customer will aggregate 315,000 square feet and its total investment in the project, called Ashburn Crossing, is projected to be $42 million.
Construction on the first 200,000 square foot building will begin early in 2013, with a projected a fourth quarter 2013 lease start date. COPT anticipates breaking ground on the second 115,000 square foot building by mid-2014, with a lease start date approximately nine months later.
The leases were signed at the end of 2012 and brought the company’s development leasing volume to 1.2 million square feet for the year.