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LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ-In a complex series of transactions, Brandywine Realty Trust has acquired a 56,000-sf class A office building for $7.575 million, signed a short-term lease with the current occupant and inked a long-term lease for the building with a noted architectural and design firm. The asset is 1000 Lenox Drive in the Princeton Pike Corporate Center here.

To begin with, the Plymouth Meeting, PA-based Brandywine, which has a regional office in Mount Laurel, NJ, bought the four-story building from Northwestern National Casualty Co., paying the latter just over $135 per sf for the asset. Next, Brandywine signed a short term lease with an affiliated company of Northwestern National Casualty, Highlands Insurance Co., which currently occupies the premises. For the longer term, the new owner has arranged a lease with CUH2A Inc., a leading architectural, engineering and planning firm based in Princeton.

As part of the acquisition, Brandywine has also acquired the development rights to as much as 125,000 sf of additional office space for which the site is currently approved, according to George Sowa, senior vice president of investments for the company. “This property complements our existing Princeton area portfolio,” according to Sowa. “With this acquisition, we now own a total of 4.2 million sf in New Jersey, including 565,000 sf within Princeton Pike Corporate Center.”

Adds Brandywine president and CEO Gerard H. Sweeney, “this acquisition is part of our investment strategy to purchase class A office properties in our core markets, and it coincides with our recent exit of two non-core markets. This acquisition allows us to increase our market penetration in one of our core regional investment markets.”

Princeton Pike Corporate Center, and the newly sold 1000 Lenox Drive, are located at an interchange of I-95. Constructed in 1982, the facility has always been owner occupied, according to Sowa.

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