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SAN FRANCISCO-Digital Realty Trust Inc. said Thursday that it leased nearly 500,000 sf in the third quarter, the highest volume of quarterly activity to date for datacenter REIT in terms of square footage and annualized GAAP rental revenues. Moreover, the rates at which it leased are markedly higher than leases that commenced in the third quarter but were signed in previous quarters.

Digital Realty says it signed leases for 478,000 sf of space in the third quarter, including 262,000 sf of its Turn-Key Datacenter space at an average annual GAAP rental rate of approximately $155 per sf and 171,000 sf of its Powered Base Building space at an average annual GAAP rental rate of $47 per sf. Another 351,000 sf of leases commenced during the third quarter, including 190,000 sf of its Turn-Key Datacenter space at an average annual GAAP rental rate of approximately $142 per sf and 100,000 sf of its Powered Base Building space at an average annual GAAP rental rate of $30 per sf.

Digital Realty owns 12.9 million sf in 74 properties in 24 markets in Europe and North America. Chief executive Michal Foust says the results are due to continued robust leasing activity in New York, Northern Virginia, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco in the US, and Paris, France, which has shown particularly strong demand over the past several months. The record leasing in the face of the current economic environment “is indicative of the critical nature of datacenter facilities,” adds Chris Crosby, SVP of Sales and Technical Services for Digital Realty.

Despite the good news, general fear among investors about the lack of access to capital for any purpose pushed down the stock price of Digital Realty along with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq and the S&P 500. Shares of DLR closed the trading day at $42.69, off $3.31 (7.2%) on the day but still in the middle of its 52-week range. The DJIA was off 3.2%, the S&P 500 was off 4.0% and the Nasdaq was off 4.5%.

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