Corporate Office Properties Trust has issued the final close to The Blackstone Fund after the real estate investment trusts agreed on a deal last month whereby Blackstone would acquire a 90 percent share of six data center shells worth $203 million.

Blackstone paid out $84 million to COPT for its 40 percent share, and the remaining 50 percent, or $101.5 million, went to a prior investor for their share of the 979,000 square feet (90,952 square meters) of data center real estate.

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Successful precedents

COPT owns, manages, leases, develops, and selectively acquires properties across the US, overseeing 174 office and data center shell properties totaling 20.2 million square feet (1.87 million square meters), as well as a hyperscale, 19.2MW data center. Most properties support the United States government and its contractors - most of which run national security, defense, and information technology firms.

The two trusts have had dealings before, as Blackstone also took a 90 percent share of two COPT shell properties worth $90 million in 2019 with a $265 million investment, and last month invested $293 million in COPT's eight Northern Virginia data center shells, which offer 1.3 million square feet of total floor space.

At the time, the trust’s president and CEO Stephen E. Budorick explained that transactions such as that detailed above “further confirm the value of our portfolio of strategically located data center shell properties and the value our development platform adds for shareholders.”

His comment was seconded by Blackstone’s head of acquisitions for the Americas, Tyler Henritze, who said: “We believe data centers will continue to benefit from strong secular tailwinds, including immense demand growth as Internet traffic and the use of cloud services continue to rise.

“These transactions are attractive opportunities to invest in high-quality powered shell warehouses in the premier market globally.”

Blackstone manages $174 billion in investment capital of what it says are “undermanaged, well-located assets” around the world.