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ARLINGTON, TX-Marking its third buy this year in the metroplex, Wells REIT II has acquired the 139,445-sf regional headquarters for Hartford-based Aetna Life Insurance Inc. Sources say the class A building in the Westway Business Center has brought slightly more than $100 per sf.

The three-story building is positioned on a 9.19-acre tract at 4300 Centreway Place. “It really kind of fits in our bull’s eye,” Keith Willby, senior vice president of acquisitions for the Atlanta-based REIT, tells GlobeSt.com, “with a good credit tenant, good location and good accessibility.” He explains that Aetna’s A plus credit rating by Standard & Poor’s was the “biggest factor” for the push to best the competition in the CB Richard Ellis-marketed sale for Des Moines-based Principal Global Investors. In addition, he says the building’s location, visible from Interstate 20, factored into the acquisition decision.

Willby says the REIT II made the close with a 10-year hold in mind. The Aetna lease expires in July 2012.

CBRE executive vice presidents Russell Ingrum and Gary Carr and Emily Kell, Principal Real Estate Investors’ manager of acquisitions and dispositions, did a full marketing blitz to stir up competition. According to Tarrant County records, Principal bought the eight-year-old building in January 1991 from its developer, Crow-Westway Associates. This year’s assessment is $14 million, a $2-million spike from last year.

“The Mid-Cities submarket is one of the healthiest office locations in the area,” Jeff Gilder, managing director for Wells Real Estate Funds, says in a press release, citing its standing as a metroplex leader for absorption.

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