COPT Picks Up Premium Property in Baltimore

Corporate Office Properties Trust is taking advantage of Baltimore's positive absorption with the purchase of a Class A office building.

Corporate Office Properties Trust has acquired 250 West Pratt St., a 368,200-square-foot Class A office building in Maryland’s Pratt Street Corridor near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, for $63.5 million from Tier REIT.

The 24-story office building was 95 percent leased at the time of the sale.

“This acquisition enhances the quality of our regional office portfolio by increasing our ownership of urban, in-fill buildings in amenity- and transportation-rich submarkets,” Roger Waesche, COPT’s president & CEO, said in a company release.

According to DTZ’s Baltimore Office Market 2014 Fourth Quarter Snapshot, the Baltimore office market ended 2014 with a 15.65 percent vacancy rate, the result of 156,843 square feet of positive absorption throughout the market in the fourth quarter.

Baltimore experienced almost 1.1 million square feet of positive absorption in 2014 with the average full service asking rent in the market currently hovering around $22.41 per square foot. Additionally, the downtown Baltimore office submarket experienced 92,014 square feet of positive absorption in 2014 and finished the year with an 18.08 percent vacancy rate.

As of the end of 2014, COPT’s consolidated office portfolio consisted of 173 office properties totaling 16.8 million rentable square feet.

Last week, COPT stock hit a new 52-week peak during trading, hitting as high as $30.84, with a volume of 1,670,907 shares trading hands.

Originally constructed in 1986, 250 West Pratt St. was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill L.L.P. and originally developed by and for Cabot, Cabot & Forbes. Its tenants include the University of Maryland Medical System, the U.S. Probation and Parole office and the University of Maryland faculty.

In April, it will become home to Pandora Jewelry L.L.C., which is moving its headquarters from Columbia to five floors and 87,862 square feet in the building.