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CHARLOTTE, NC-The decision by Microsoft Corp. to buy two large office buildings, where the computer software giant has been a local tenant for nearly eight years, has more to do with committing to the community than real estate economics. Jones Lang LaSalle brokered the $66.2-million transaction this month that turned the tenants at 8050 and 8055 Microsoft Way into owners.

Talmadge Isbell, senior vice president of JLL’s Atlanta office, led a group of brokers from the firm’s Charlotte and Seattle offices in representing Microsoft in the acquisition. The Redmond, WA-based company has more than 1,000 technical support, sales and service staff at its 408,000-sf ArrowPoint complex.

“It signifies Microsoft’s commitment to the Charlotte market and Mecklenburg County, and allows for long-term, ongoing control of the asset,” Isbell tells GlobeSt.com. He notes that the company’s strong balance sheet, coupled with current market conditions for the sale of commercial property, creates optimum timing to buy the buildings.

Microsoft has operated in Charlotte since 1991 and moved in October 2000 to its current offices, which were developed by Trammell Crow Co. Isbell says the company has 85,000 sf of excess space in its buildings that it may lease to local firms.

Business leaders reacted favorably to Microsoft’s decision to buy its facilities. “Microsoft has been a very strong partner to the businesses in the Carolinas, with very significant impact in the local economy and in the community,” Bob Morgan, president of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, stated in a release.

Microsoft itself says the transaction reaffirms its commitment to local business partners and customers, along with the millions of dollars in cash and software donations in recent years. “We look forward to being here for years to come,” says Stephen Sorensen, director of the company’s Charlotte campus.

Isbell points out that the purchase may have a favorable effect on Charlotte’s office market, which has around 11% vacancy, according to various market research reports. “This tells (tenants) that they can make a long-term commitment as well,” he says.

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