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JENKINTOWN, PA-American Financial Realty Trust has sold or signed definitive agreements to sell 13 properties aggregating 711,000 sf for approximately $54.6 million, or about $76.79 per sf, in cash. All are considered non-core and Nicholas S. Schorsch, president and CEO of the locally based financial REIT, says the company’s disposition of non-core assets “is running ahead of schedule.”

Of the total space in this disposition, 545,000 sf, or 77% of the total, is currently vacant or occupied under short-term leases. The remaining 23%, or 166,000 sf, is occupied on a long-term basis. Some of the sales have reached completion and the rest are expected to close by year-end.

American Financial anticipates approximately $3.1 million in pre-tax gains from the sale in this quarter. In all, it has disposed of nearly 545,000 sf in actual or pending vacancy in this quarter alone, according to Schorsch. “Generally, we expect to save approximately $8 per sf in operating expenses from the sale of pure vacancy,” he says, “while our return on the sale of occupied properties will vary based on the terms of the underlying leases.”

The disposed property locations and buyers are undisclosed. In the last half of this year, American Financial acquired a 140-building portfolio from Wachovia and a 248-building Bank of America portfolio in sale/leaseback agreements. Both portfolios contained significant vacant space that resulted primarily from those financial institutions’ previous mergers and acquisitions.

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