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ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ-Wells Real Estate Investment Trust has just grown its substantial presence in the Garden State by nearly 410,000 sf with its acquisition of a three-story office building here for a price tag of $70.5 million. A company spokesman would not disclose further details of the sale including the identity of the seller.

The building, located on a 27-acre site near the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge, is currently 100% occupied by Citicorp, which uses it as an operations center and has a long-term lease that runs through 2010. Citicorp is a subsidiary of the New York-based Citigroup Inc. and accounts for an estimated two-thirds of the parent’s earnings.

“It’s hard to find a more solid, creditworthy tenant than Citicorp,” says Wells REIT chief investment officer David Steinwedell. “We’re proud to have them join the tenants in our portfolio of class-A office and industrial properties.”

The Atlanta-based Wells is a national real estate investment management firm that buys existing class-A office as well as industrial properties and does corporate sale-leasebacks and build-to-suit projects. The Citicorp operations center building buy follows the company’s acquisition late last year of a 404,500-sf, four-story class-A building in Parsippany, NJ. The latter asset, which the company paid $101.35 million for, is currently 100% occupied by the Key Bank USA subsidiary of KeyCorp and by the Gemini Technology Services subsidiary of Deutsche Bank.

Also in Wells’ portfolio in the Garden State is the 237,000-sf building at 1111 Durham Rd. in South Plainfield, for which it paid $33.65 million a few years ago. That asset is currently 100% leased to Motorola Inc. through 2010.

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