Developer looks for acquisitions as a new lease with
Veracity Logistics in Tolleson brings overall occupancy to 98%
PHOENIX, AZ – April 1, 2011 – Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LRY) today announced it has reached 97% occupancy at The Cotton Center, a 12 building industrial park the company purchased in 2008 and expanded with two developed buildings in 2009.
Liberty acquired the park in order to establish a firmer foothold in the Phoenix market. The company had entered the market in 2005 to develop 8501 Raintree Drive, the first privately developed LEED Gold certified office building in Scottsdale, for long-time tenant Vanguard. Today, Liberty owns and manages 1.3 million square feet of space in the Phoenix-Scottsdale corridor and has begun weighing options for additional acquisitions. The company is also considering developing projects on 20 acres of land it owns in Cotton Center and more than 100 acres it owns in Goodyear.
“We have just one vacancy right now - a 14,000 square foot space at The Cotton Center,” said John DiVall, senior vice president and city manager of Liberty’s Phoenix portfolio. “As the economy continues to improve, more space will be needed, and we want to be in a position to provide it.”
Last week, Liberty leased its last major vacancy – a 74,124 square foot space in a warehouse in 8313 W. Pierces Street in Tolleson – to Veracity Logistics, a subsidiary of American Nutrition.
“Tenants are gravitating towards class ‘A’ properties with quality landlords such as Liberty Property Trust because they know their building will be very well maintained, the mortgage will be paid, and they can operate without any of the headaches associated with undercapitalized landlords,” said Bo Mills of Cushman & Wakefield, who represented Liberty in the transaction.
Filling Up Cotton Center
The agreement with Veracity Logistics and three other lease agreements led up to the nearly fully occupied status of the park. At the close of 2010, United Health Care, a Liberty tenant in a number of locations across the U.S., leased 165,000 square feet of space at 4425 E. Cotton Center Blvd. in an agreement that included the entire building. The space had become available after Progressive Insurance moved from that location to Liberty’s speculative building at 4550 S. 44th Place in Phoenix that same month.
Earlier in the year, Caris Life Science, which moved to the park in 2009, expanded into 4750 S. 44th Place, adding the remaining 10,402 square feet and bringing the building to 100% occupancy. Collins College is the other major tenant in the building.
“One of our roles as landlord is to help tenants ‘rightsize’ by making available spaces that suit their needs now and going forward,” said John DiVall, senior vice president and city manager, Liberty Property Trust. “Our ability to anticipate and respond to tenants’ requirements comes from the development of close relationships, both on a local and national level.”
The Cotton Center buildings feature high performance reflective glass, a complete fiber optic network and lush landscaping. Centrally located south of Sky Harbor Airport near the intersection of Rt. 143 and US 10, the Cotton Center is home to GE Medical, Shutterfly.com, Education Management and Freeport McMoRan.
About Liberty Property Trust
During the last decade, Liberty has invested more than $1.3 billion in USGBC LEED registered and/or certified sustainable developments. The company has been recognized for its commitment to sustainable design and its positive impact on its tenants’ employees, the environment and its communities. Liberty has received numerous awards for its approach and commitment to sustainability, including the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) 2008 Developer of the Year Award, the CoreNet Global 2008 Sustainability Leadership Award for Design & Development and the 2007 NAIOP Green Development Award. The company was also honored with the U.S. Green Building Council’s 2006 LEED Corporate Leadership Award.
Headquartered in Malvern, PA, Liberty is dedicated to enhancing people’s lives through extraordinary work environments. The real estate investment trust (REIT) serves customers in the United States and United Kingdom through the development, acquisition, ownership and management of superior office and industrial properties. Liberty's 80 million square foot portfolio offers exceptional locations and flexible design to more than 2,000 tenants at approximately 700 properties. The company has received numerous recognitions for its leadership, customer service and commitment to the development of high performance green buildings and was recently named the 2008 NAIOP Developer of the Year. For more information, visit www.libertyproperty.com.
General Inquiries: John DiVall, Liberty Property Trust, 602/808-3500
Media Contact: Robbie Tarpley Raffish, a.s.a.p.r., 443/944-9301