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HOUSTON-American Financial Realty Trust completed the sale-leaseback transaction of 13 bank branches and three multi-tenant office buildings belonging to local financial entity Sterling Bank. The Jenkintown, PA-based American Financial Realty Trust paid $28.3 million for the portfolio, which contains approximately 179,000 sf of rentable square feet and includes property located throughout the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio markets.

Sterling Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sterling Bancshares Inc., will continue occupying the American Financial Realty-acquired properties for a weighted average term of close to 14 years. While specific lease considerations were not available for the properties, a spokesman with American Financial Realty tells GlobeSt.com that strong lease rates were negotiated.

“We assisted Sterling Bank in helping them rationalize their real estate holdings, while unlocking their value,” the spokesman says. “AFR benefits from long-term occupancy in the properties, while owning well-locate bank sites in growing Texas markets.”

“We are pleased to establish a new customer relationship with Sterling Bank,” says Harold W. Pote, president and chief executive officer of American Financial Realty in a prepared statement discussing the transaction. “This transaction demonstrates the value of AFR’s flexible acquisition structure that enables banks and other financial institutions to rationalize their real estate holdings while maintaining long term occupancy.” Information on potential staffing and name changes could not be obtained by press time.

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