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MENLO PARK, CA-Spieker Properties, which has half its portfolio in the San Francisco Bay Area, had its outlook raised to positive on Monday by Fitch IBCA. The international credit-rating agency says the company’s conservative financial profile and an overall excellent performance triggered the rating revision.

Specifically, Fitch notes Spieker’s strong rent growth, which is largely supported by an average remaining lease term of 3.6 years. That average is substantially less than Spieker’s competitors, meaning the developer enjoys more potential tenant turnover and opportunity for increased rental revenue. Fitch also mentions Spieker’s “strong” management team, market expertise and “high-quality” properties in strategic markets.

At the end of Q3, Spieker averaged 97.7% occupancy, with no end in sight for its razor-thin vacancy. Suburban office properties account for about 81% of the firm’s net operating income – up from 74% at the end of 1999 – while 19% is industrial. Last week, Spieker’s existing $250 million unsecured revolving credit agreement was replaced by a new three-year, $400 million facility.

Spieker concentrates on specific West Coast locations, with 51% of its portfolio in the San Francisco Bay Area. A solid 27% of those 39 million sf are in Silicon Valley alone, followed by 14% in the San Francisco Peninsula submarket and 10% in the Oakland/East Bay submarkets. Other major holdings are in Portland (10%), Orange County (10%), Seattle (10%) and Los Angeles (8%).

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