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SAN FRANCISCO-Digital Realty Trust has acquired three properties for $236.9 million and sold another for $60.4 million. The owner and manager of 10.3 million sf of data center and Internet gateway properties acquired two data centers and an Internet gateway facility. The property sold was an office building.

The largest acquisition is a 347,000-sf Internet gateway facility in Phoenix. Located at 120 East Van Buren, it serves as the primary hub for Internet traffic in the Greater Phoenix area. The purchase price was $175 million.

The larger of the two data center acquisitions is a 263,700-sf, three-building complex in Fort Worth. The seller, Savvis Corp., leased back the facility for 15 years. The purchase price was $50.6 million.

The other data center acquisition included twin 28,000-sf data center buildings in Amsterdam. The buildings were constructed in 2000 as data centers specifically for a major European IT services company, which occupies 100% of the property through 2015. The purchase price was $11.3 million.

The disposition was Stanford Place II, a 366,000-sf suburban office building located at 7979 East Tufts Ave. in the Denver Tech submarket of Denver. The property was originally acquired in 2003 by the predecessor to Digital Realty Trust, after which occupancy was improved from 84% to 97%. The sale produced a profit of about $17.9 million.

In April, Digital Realty Trust spent $71 million on 700,000 sf in three data centers in Canada, Georgia and Texas. The largest property was a 313,600-sf facility in Atlanta that is leased through 2011 to a major Internet enterprise as a key data center.

In June, Digital Trust began converting an additional 330,000 sf of owned space into turn-key data centers. The space is spread among 10 markets where company officials say there has been increasing demand. The vast majority of the space involved in the project–283,000 sf–is comprised of its 3 Corporate Place facility in Piscataway, NJ.

Digital Realty Trust is one of only a few companies that owns and manages corporate data centers and Internet gateways exclusively. The company went public in November 2004 at $12 per share. At close of trading Thursday, its share price stood at $26.34.

In an UpClose interview in March 2006, Digital Realty CEO Mike Foust tells GlobeSt.com that an important factor in the company’s success has been attracting a team of technical experts in the data-center field–engineering, construction, data-center operations and a technology sales team focused on the users’ IT department. “Early on, we decided to make a big investment in that type of team, and that sets us apart from other real estate investors,” he said. “We have experts in the field who can work with the tenants to determine the right property, the right location and the right set of engineering specs. “

As for competition, Foust says no other company has made investments across the country in such a systematic way as Digital Realty. “You…need a certain scale to accommodate that significant investment in a professional staff, and that creates a barrier for folks coming in,” he says.

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