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ATLANTA-Shooting for a 2003 total acquisition goal of $2.5 billion, locally based Wells Real Estate Investment Trust has acquired 4.9 million sf of class A office properties for $865 million in six metro markets in the last 40 days. The price equates to an average $175.39 per sf.

The transactions may be the swiftest bulk purchase of class A office assets on record, several senior metro Atlanta and Orlando brokers tell GlobeSt.com. In 2002, the REIT bought 30 buildings for $1.4 billion or an average $46.7 million each.

David Steinwedell, the REIT’s chief investment officer, says the company is “on course to attain our goal of buying $2.5 billion worth of quality office and industrial buildings this year.” Steinwedell adds that, “each of these transactions, though different in size and structure, is a testament to our never-ending commitment to the ‘quality equation,’ acquiring only the best-quality tenants in quality properties that deliver quality income to our investors.” Wells has 80,000 investors worldwide.

The acquisition includes: the 25-story, 505,417-sf Downtown Detroit tower at 150 West Jefferson for $93.75 million or $185.49 per sf; the newly completed, 268,000-sf Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp.’s customer service center in Irving, TX for an undisclosed price; the 30-story, 929,694-sf, 99.4%-leased U.S. Bancorp Center in Downtown Minneapolis from Chicago-based Equity Office Properties Trust for $174 million or $187.15 per sf; the three-story, 409,604-sf, 27-acre Citicorp Operations Center in Englewood Cliffs, NJ for $70.5 million or $172.11 per sf; the 2.7-million-sf Aon Center in Downtown Chicago from The Blackstone Group of New York for an undisclosed price; and the three-story, 119,122-sf Koll Corporate Center in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills, MI for an undisclosed price.

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