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WASHINGTON, DC-Liberty Place, the 157,550-sf 12-year-old office structure at 325 Seventh St., joins Chicago, IL-based Equity Office Properties Trust’s portfolio in a $55-million transaction. The seller, a subsidiary of the Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association, provided permanent financing to the tune of $55 million when the class A property was developed by Oliver Car Company in 1990.

Located in the District’s East End submarket, Liberty Place includes 6,000 sf of ground-level retail space and is linked to the 120-year-old Fireman’s Fund Building, which underwent a massive renovation during the newer property’s construction more than a decade ago. Liberty Place now has a 2003 assessed value of nearly $43.4 million, and is 100% leased. Occupants of the 12-story office tower include the Department of Justice, the American Hospital Association and the National Retail Federation.

“Outside of the retail tenants on the bottom, there are four office tenants whose leases expire in 2004 and 2005, so 100% of the building rolls over then,” EOPT senior vice president of investments Matt Gworek shares with GlobeSt.com. “But we have some national relationships with some of the tenants so we’re optimistic that our relationships will help with retention. Also, we own Market Square next door and given the tenancy there, there will be some expansion that could go into Liberty Place.”

EOPT drew from profits acquired through recent disposition activities totaling $91 million to fund the Liberty Place purchase; a purchase that is in accord with the company’s current strategy. “Liberty Place adds to our position in Washington, DC, which is among the strongest office markets in the country,” EOPT chief investment officer David Helfand says in a statement. “We are focused on leveraging the economies of scale this concentration of assets offers. Meanwhile, we continue to execute our investment strategy of exiting non-core assets and submarkets, while building concentrations in our top markets.”

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