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Leasing activity solid throughout W&M portfolio.

Leasing remains strong throughout W&M Properties' nearly 2.5 million-SF suburban Fairfield and Westchester County Class-A office portfolio. Activity has been solid, with relocations from New York City, local small business expansions and renewals all contributing to our continued leasing success.

After Sept. 11, many pundits expected the suburbs to absorb a significant number of downtown Manhattan firms relocating their offices. In fact, only two major companies directly affected by the World Trade Center tragedy took offices here. Citicorp North America, Inc., already a tenant at W&M's First Stamford Place, leased additional space for employees displaced from one of the firm's divisions from the World Trade Center complex, and American Express took space at the International Paper building for contingency planning (but many of the firm's employees have already relocated to downtown Manhattan space). These two leases add up to less than 400,000 SF of expansion space.

While we frequently lease spaces for corporate branch offices of large, Manhattan-based corporations, the principal strength of our suburban Class-A office portfolio comes from leasing a majority of our space to stable small and mid-sized/ companies engaged in financial and/or "value added" businesses, such as healthcare, reinsurance, money management, investment and mortgage banking, disaster recovery, legal, accounting, market research, and consulting services.

To accommodate and retain these users, which often require less than 15,000 SF, W&M acquires only multi-tenantable buildings for its portfolio. Having subdividable floorplates allows us to lease our buildings to a diverse user base of high-credit tenants and easily meet a user's changing space needs.

To attract credit-worthy tenants, W&M provides Class-A space, offering top-of-the-line amenities and services. Such high demand building features include: On-site fitness centers and dining facilities, ample parking, state-of-the-art telecommunications services, conference centers, high-speed Internet access, sundry shops, ATMs, and round-the-clock security. In addition, all of our properties are located at or near major transportation centers and roadways, with W&M providing tenants-only shuttle bus service to nearby train stations and shopping districts.

For companies looking for such Class-A space, there are still some opportunities within W&M's portfolio. The largest blocks of space are available at MerrittView, in Norwalk, Conn., and 711 Westchester Avenue, in White Plains, N.Y. Companies wishing to move to top-flight buildings are taking advantage of leasing opportunities here, as W&M is able to price its available space competitively for replacement leasing to credit-worthy tenants. We are able to offer rates that have not been seen in years because of three factors. First, each of these properties was acquired at well below replacement cost. Second, W&M has only low levels of debt on its properties. Third, space is being made available by lease rollovers of tenants that were paying well below today's market rates.
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Title Annotation:W and M Properties
Author:Newman, Jeffrey H.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 13, 2002
Previous Article:Boroughs seeing renewed interest since Sept. 11.
Next Article:Downturn brings more sublease space.

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