Corporate Office Property Trust has added three buildings and a prime tract of land to its growing portfolio in Colorado Springs.
CEO and President Randall M. Griffin said the Maryland-based company has acquired Science Park I & II at the north entrance to Patriot Park and the Newport Centre One building at 1670 N. Newport Road.
A three-story, 102,717-square-foot building, Science Park I is headquarters to defense contractors, Northrop Grumman and SPARTA Inc. It is located at 985 Space Center Drive. Science Park II is a single story office building containing 33,190 square feet at 980 Technology Court. Its primary tenant is Integral Systems Inc.
The facilities were purchased from Bethesda Associates for $18 million.
The Newport Centre One building contains 67,500 square feet and is occupied by Lockheed Martin and the Government Services Administration. The four-story facility was purchased for $9 million from Boulder-based Springport LLC.
In addition, COPT has purchased a 50-percent interest in a 132-acre parcel of land at InterQuest Office Park for $9.2 million. Local developer, David Jenkins, owns the remaining stake in the property, which is large enough to accommodate up to 953,000 square feet in new office or commercial construction.
Griffin sees the acquisitions as an important step in creating “a critical mass” in the Colorado Springs market. While the company specializes in ownership and management of build-to-suit office parks for national corporate tenants, it also plans to acquire land for future developments.
In a separate transaction, completed at the end of September, the publicly traded real estate investment trust sold an 80-percent interest in its Harrisburg, Pa., portfolio, valued at $73 million. Roger Wasche, the company’s vice president and chief financial officer said the sale will allow it to pursue acquisitions and development in COPT’s core and expanding markets – including its presence in Colorado Springs and other defense hub cities.
George Swintz, COPT’s vice president for asset management and leasing, said that the company expects more acquisitions of existing buildings and build-to-suit opportunities.
The former Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial broker was responsible for the lease-up of the 138,000-square-foot Platte Air Park just west of Powers Boulevard and Highway 24 and will act as a principal rather than as a broker in the firm’s transactions.
“Many of the companies I’ve already worked with are part of COPT’s top 20 tenant list,” he said. “Our strategy is to leverage strong relationships COPT has in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area with its tenants and to parlay those into Pikes Peak region transactions.”
As Colorado Springs continues to attract new financial, insurance and defense-related business, COPT’s investment appears well-timed.
Mayor Lionel Rivera sees the company’s investment in the community as verification that the defense sector is here to stay.
“Defense-related companies are mission focused on supporting Northcomm, Air Force Space Command, NORAD and other military operations,” Rivera said. “They don’t want to worry about buying, developing and managing real estate. An organization like COPT has the scale and infrastructure in place necessary to get the job done. Their vote of confidence in our market will only make us more attractive to the defense industry and its military clients.”
The trust has more than $3 billion in assets and focuses on the core expansion and multi-location requirements of its existing defense, government, biotechnology and other national tenants.