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ATLANTA-Locally based-Wells Real Estate Investment Trust has acquired Internet Security Systems’ three-building, 238,6000-sf headquarters from Atlanta-based Griffin Co. for an estimated $40 million or $168 per sf.

In a two-phase transaction, Wells bought two completed, class-A office buildings and a 929-car parking deck at the ISS campus at Barfield Road and Mount Vernon Highway.

Known as Mount Vernon Place, the campus was begun by Griffin for ISS in 1999. ISS has signed a 10-year lease for the two-building first phase of the property and will move in this August.

Wells wouldn’t disclose the purchase price or the terms of the ISS lease. But according to published reports, the REIT paid $40 million. The aggregate value of the lease, estimated by area brokers at an average $20 per sf, is $47.7 million, one of the biggest office leases signed in Atlanta this year.

Wells will also acquire the third, 50,000-sf building now under construction and scheduled for completion in August 2003. That building will also be fully leased to ISS for an estimated 10 years.

At the estimated $168 per sf price of the first two buildings, the third building would command an additional investment by Wells of $8.35 million, area brokers tell GlobeSt.com.

“With a focus on acquiring single-tenant, class-A properties, Wells is a unique institutional buyer that’s a perfect fit for the ISS campus,” Rick Bent, president of development for Griffin, says in a prepared statement.

Jeffrey A. Gilder, director of acquisitions for Wells, represented the REIT in the transaction. Griffin was represented by John Farrell of the Atlanta office of Houston-based L.J. Melody & Co. ISS provides security software for 9,000 corporate customers, including 49 of the Fortune 50 companies, according to Griffin’s statement.

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