Digital Realty Acquires 337 KSF, Six-Building Portfolio in Austin

Digital Realty Trust, already the world’s largest data center REIT, continues boosting its United States portfolio with the acquisition of a six-building holdings totaling 337,000 square feet in Austin, Texas.

Digital Realty Trust CEO Mike Foust

Digital Realty Trust, already the world’s largest data center REIT, continues boosting its United States portfolio with the acquisition of a six-building holdings totaling 337,000 square feet in Austin, Texas, for $31.9 million.

The seller wasn’t disclosed. The properties are located at the MetCenter Business Park in Austin, adjacent to Digital Realty’s data center at 7500 Metro Center Drive. The site is about five miles from Austin’s central business district and near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The overall portfolio is 90 percent leased. Two of the buildings, with a total of 100,000 square feet, are fully-leased operating data centers with three tenants. The remaining four properties consist of flex office space.

“The acquisition of this portfolio achieves several key objectives for us. It expands our existing data center footprint in the Austin market, while providing stable cash flow immediately at an attractive going-in cap rate,” Scott Peterson, Chief Acquisitions Officer at Digital Realty, said in a news release. “Second, it provides near-term opportunity to add value by lease existing vacant space. And third, it offers the option to convert a portion of the property to data center space over the longer term as leases expire.”

CEO Michael Foust said the acquisition adds inventory in a market where Digital Realty has already seen substantial absorption and demand.

“It is a continuation of our strategy of growing a world-class data center portfolio in markets where our customers want to be located,” Foust said in the release.

The acquisition follows purchases made in early April, including a 61,750-square-foot data center in Dallas that was bought for $8.5 million, according to the San Francisco-based firm. The single-tenant facility is leased on a long-term basis to a leading provider of business, information technology and communications solutions. At the same time, the REIT announced it had three buildings with a total of 227,000 square feet in Phoenix for $24 million. One building with 109,000 square feet of space is being held for future development of a data center. The remaining two buildings are occupied on short-term leases by the seller of the properties.

Also in early April, Digital Realty said it had acquired a 329,000-square-foot data center on 39 acres of land in Eagan, Minn., that is fully leaded to Delta Air Lines, for $37 million. In a sale-leaseback transaction, Delta signed an eight-year, triple net lease for the facility at 1500 Towerview Road.

Digital Realty has also been active outside the U.S., including a March purchase of a 120,000-square-foot data center development property near Toronto for C$8.65 million. The property in Markham, Ontario, has warehouse and some office space that is currently 48 percent leased to two tenants.

In January, the REIT acquired a three-property data center portfolio in the Paris area for approximately $80 million from Bouygues Telecom, France’s third largest telecommunications operator. The portfolio has about 87,000 square feet of rentable space. Structured as a sale-leaseback purchase, Bouygues will continue to operate and maintain the facilities. That same month, it also completed the acquisition of a fully-leased data center property in Sydney, Australia for AU$11.75 million.

Digital Realty’s Paris acquisition was listed as the largest data center transaction based upon total cost in the first quarter of 2013, according to a report by Five 9s Digital. The firm’s Data Centers Real Estate Acquisitions Report noted that there were about 2.7 million square feet of data center real estate transactions in 2013’s first quarter valued at about $350 million.  Five 9s Digital said it had tracked well over $2 billion in data center real estate transactions for 2012. The firm expects another active year with many development and expansion projects that had been on hold moving forward.