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Blackstone to Buy 23 U.S. Warehouses for $241.5 Million

May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group LP agreed to buy 23 industrial properties in southern Virginia and the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas from First Potomac Realty Trust for $241.5 million.

Blackstone placed a $15 million deposit to acquire the properties, which comprise about 4 million square feet (370,000 square meters), Bethesda, Maryland-based First Potomac said today in a statement. The purchase was made by an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII, the New York-based firm’s record $13.3 billion fund.

Blackstone has been expanding in industrial real estate, recently purchasing 15 warehouses in the Chicago area for about $110 million. First Potomac is selling assets to focus on the Washington-area office market, Chief Executive Officer Douglas J. Donatelli said in the statement.

“The sale of the industrial portfolio is the most critical step in our strategy of repositioning our portfolio,” he said.

The real estate investment trust separately sold a 236,000-square-foot industrial property in Haymarket, Virginia, for $17.5 million, the company said. The buyer in that deal was Corporate Office Properties Trust, based in Columbia, Maryland.

First Potomac intends to use the proceeds from the sale of its industrial properties to repay debt and to acquire “high-quality” office buildings in the Washington region, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oshrat Carmiel in New York at ocarmiel1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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