Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tricia Lynn Silva
Reporter/Project Coordinator
San Antonio Business Journal

The owner/developer behind a West San Antonio master-planned office complex has closed on the sale of one of the properties in the park.

Columbia, Md.-based Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) sold a vacant, 95,000-square-foot office building at Sentry Gateway 100. COPT also sold 4 acres of land adjacent to the building. COPT reports that the assets sold for $15.5 million.

The buyer was CPS Energy. The four acres will be used to construct a primary data center, says Lisa Lewis, director of corporate communications for CPS Energy. She adds that the utility will be moving some service functions to the existing 95,000-square-foot building.

Larry Mendez, senior vice president of the San Antonio office of Transwestern; and Amber Austin, vice president; represented COPT in the transaction.

Both the office building and the land are part of a larger office park in the works by COPT, known as Sentry Gateway. The project spans 126 acres of land along Military Drive and Potranco Road, on the city’s far West Side.

Long-term plans for the project call for the development of upwards of 900,000 square feet of office space, to be spread out over several buildings, says Mendez. He and Austin are overseeing the leasing of Sentry Gateway for COPT.

Not included in Transwestern’s assignment is an existing two-building, 475,000-square-foot complex that reportedly serves as the local headquarters for the Texas Cryptology Center, which serves the Department of Defense.

COPT also announced the sale of five buildings in White Marsh, Md., a submarket of Baltimore, for $19.2 million. The five buildings total 163,000 square feet. As of Dec. 31, 2011, the properties had an overall occupancy rate of 83 percent.

The White Marsh sale was part of a strategic reallocation plan announced by COPT this past April. The goal of that plan has been to increase the firm’s holdings of buildings that serve tenants in the U.S. Government and Defense Information Technology industries — what COPT CEO Randall M. Griffin calls the core customers of the real estate trust.

The Sentry Gateway sale, Griffin adds, speaks to the appeal of the office park.

"The White Marsh asset sales represent meaningful progress toward executing our strategic reallocation plan," he says. "And the sale of our San Antonio development property validates the desirability and appeal of our Sentry Gateway campus".

Tricia Lynn Silva covers real estate, retail, construction, and law firms; she also plans and edits some special reports.

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