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RICHMOND, VA-First Potomac has inked a 46,000-sf lease with a West Boylston, MA-based electronics company, ept Inc., in a flex building that is part of its River’s Bend portfolio here. The leased space, which is in 801 Liberty Way, brings these particular holdings up to 96% occupancy, Tony Beck, First Potomac’s regional vice president for Southern Virginia, says in a prepared statement. First Potomac declined to comment for the article.

River’s Bend is an industrial and business park totaling 795,000 sf all together. It consists of 701 & 801 Liberty Way–four buildings totaling 492,000 sf situated on 48 acres. These buildings feature 27 industrial space doors and pre-cast tilt-up walls, masonry construction and a concrete slab foundation. The other holding is River’s Bend Center, located at 500 & 600 HP Way. This is a 302,400-sf flex property consisting of two buildings that are situated on 16 acres. The new tenant, ept, will occupy its space in Q4 2008, once construction is complete.

It has almost become a cliché to note that First Potomac’s leasing activities have been very robust. Recent deals include a 190,000-sf lease with a subsidiary of Iron Mountain, 750,000 sf with FedEx at 1920 Campostella Rd. in Chesapeake, VA., a 33,000-sf lease with Citicorp North America at 5301 Robin Hood Rd. in Norfolk Commerce Center II, and 76,000 sf—a full building—with Siemens at Ammendale Commerce Center property.

In its Q2 earnings call, First Potomac CEO Doug Donatelli told listeners that the company’s leasing activity matched the same pace it set for the first quarter–another banner period for the REIT. “We signed 888,000 sf of new and renewal leases, almost matching our record in Q1,” he said, according to a transcript of the call. “We retained 86% of our tenants in the quarter and expect the full year to be in the 80%-plus range, above our goal for the year. We signed more new leases than we have at any quarter in our history bringing our portfolio to 80% leased. Our goal has been to finish the year at 90% leased and we are very much on track to accomplish that.”

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