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DENVER-Locally based Dividend Capital Trust acquired Boston-based Cabot Industrial Fund Inc., a private real estate investment trust that owns 87% of Cabot Industrial Value Fund LP. Cabot Industrial Value Fund LP controls a $695-million portfolio of 105 industrial buildings totaling approximately 11.7 million sf in 12 markets across the US. DCT holds the right to acquire the remaining interests in the partnership.

The portfolio of acquired properties includes facilities in Seattle, Columbus, OH and Northern New Jersey, where DCT previously had no market presence. It also substantially increases the company’s ownership in the Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles/Southern California target markets, among others. DCT now has significant property ownership in 21 national target markets and holdings in two non-target markets.

“This portfolio is an excellent addition to DCT’s asset base,” says Jim Cochran, managing director for DCT. “The assets add to our holdings in a number of key national distribution markets, and the transaction marks our entry into the target markets of Seattle and Northern New Jersey–two highly desirable coastal ports that serve as distribution hubs for the global shipping industry–and Columbus, OH, a major Midwestern distribution center.”

Collectively, the newly acquired assets are leased to a diverse group of 273 corporate customers, including Verizon, FedEx, Siemens, Excel Logistics, Shaw Industries and Sealy Mattress, among others. The overall portfolio is currently 84% leased. After the potential sale of one of the buildings in the portfolio, currently under contract, the occupancy rate of the portfolio is anticipated to be 89%.

“This is a pre-stabilized portfolio that we believe provides an opportunity for cash-flow growth through efficient asset management,” says Daryl Mechem, senior vice president and director of operations for DCT. “Because approximately 43% of the portfolio was leased during recessionary periods, we believe that as leases terminate or come up for renewal during this stronger economic cycle, there should be significant potential to maximize cash flow with higher rental income.”

Separately, DCT disclosed additional acquisition activity for 19 buildings consisting of approximately 2.9 million sf in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Memphis and Harrisburg/Lehigh Valley, PA. Including these acquisitions and the Cabot transaction, DCT currently owns 247 properties totaling more than 36.7 million sf in 23 markets. These properties are leased to more than 500 corporate customers and have an occupancy rate of 90%.

“DCT’s growth over the past several years has been consistent with our corporate strategy,” Cochran says. “We are developing an asset base around which we can build a leading North American real estate operating company.”

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