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FORT WASHINGTON, PA-At a net cost of $7.3 million, Liberty Property Trust acquired two class B office properties here, which have an aggregate of approximately 88,000 sf. They are part of a three-building portfolio previously owned by Usance, a closely held, private, local company.

In a complicated deal, Liberty actually acquired the entire portfolio for nearly $17.6 million and, under a separate agreement, immediately sold the larger Highland Office Center, a 91,748-sf, nearly fully leased building to Maguire & Partners Property Group. Maguire paid $10.3 million.

Usance retained GVA Smith Mack to dispose of its portfolio, and Bill Russell, director of financial services, and Doug Newbert, VP and broker, handled the transaction. “The portfolio was encumbered by a low-leverage mortgage with an above-market interest rate,” Russell tells GlobeSt.com. In addition to obtaining a formal agreement of sale within 120 days and maximizing its offering price, “Usance also wanted to sell subject to the existing first-mortgage loan and avoid having to pay a prepayment penalty,” he says.

Because Malvern-based Liberty “is so well capitalized,” Russell says, “it contracted to purchase the whole portfolio, knowing it had a best buyer for the building it did not want and took on the debt.” Ward Fitzgerald, SVP in Liberty’s Horsham office represented Liberty. With completion of this multi-tiered deal, Liberty now owns 1250 Virginia Drive and 275 Commerce Way, which are 55% leased and 65% leased respectively. It plans to upgrade and reposition the buildings.

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