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BETHESDA, MD-Piedmont Office Realty Trust Inc. has acquired an office building here for an undisclosed price from its developer Opus East. The Norcross, GA-based firm plans to buy an adjacent building that is now under development and then connect the two structures to deliver a grand total of 407,000-sf of office space into this market.

In general, offices in Montgomery County fetch an average of $300 per sf with $400 being the high end, according to Tonya Ginter, director of research & marketing for GVA Advantis. One recent sale in this submarket, she tells GlobeSt.com, was 801 Thompson Ave., a 51,000-sf building that traded when Behringer Harvard acquired Toronto-based IPC US REIT and its portfolio of 35 class A office buildings in the US. The selling price was $7.3 million, or $143 per sf. Another indicator of what buildings might trade for here–albeit a somewhat dated indicator–is the August sale of Democracy Center. Prudential Real Estate Investors acquired the 20-year-old 688,493-sf three-office complex from Boston Properties for $412 per sf. That was just as the credit crunch was underway, Ginter notes, and therefore might not be a reliable guide.

The two eight-story buildings, located at 6720 and 6730 Rockledge Dr., will be renamed Piedmont Pointe I and II. Opus East was represented by Eric Berkman and Steven Gichner of Grubb & Ellis. Jones Lang LaSalle will handle leasing for the vacant buildings.

“This transaction is a good example of our strategy in action–quality properties in one of our concentration markets with an emphasis on long-term growth,” says Raymond Owens, EVP of capital markets, for Piedmont. “We’re very pleased with the transaction, and believe these buildings should make strong additions to the Piedmont portfolio.”

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