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WASHINGTON, DC-Washington Real Estate Investment Trust has announced big news just in time for the closing of 2003. The REIT has initiated an underwritten public offering of two million common shares of beneficial interest. WRIT issued the shares under its shelf registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and offered underwriters the option to acquire as many as 300,000 additional shares. Credit Suisse First Boston and AG Edwards & Sons Inc. are serving as joint lead managers for the deal, and Ferris, Baker Watts Inc. is on board as co-manager.

In a conversation with GlobeSt.com the day of the offering, WRIT CFO Sara Grootwassink declined to comment on how much the offering is expected to bring in, noting that the company would prefer to delay comment on numbers until closing of the offering. Whatever the amount the transaction yields, the net proceeds will be funneled toward the repayment of funds borrowed under its $90 million unsecured term note.

“The term loan was initiated as a result of two recent acquisitions, 1776 G St., and Prosperity Medical Center,” Grootwassink notes. In August WRIT executed a $60-million unsecured term note to partially fund the $85-million purchase of the 260,000-sf office at 1776 G. St., in Washington, DC. Two months later, the REIT increased the term note to $90 million to assist with the acquisition of Prosperity Medical Center, a one-year-old medical office building in Merrifield, VA that carried a price tag of $78 million. Grootwassink adds that no part of the funds will be used for property acquisitions.

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