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WRIT SELLS HEADQUARTERS BUILDING FOR FOUR AND ONE-HALF TIMES ORIGINAL COST FOR UNCONVENTIONAL REASONS

 BETHESDA, Md., July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRIT) (AMEX: WRE) sold its headquarters building at 4936 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda, for $1,050,000 ... over four and one-half times it cost. The 14,000 square foot building, which cost $228,000, had been leased to General Electric, National Cash Register and the Bank of Bethesda until the trust moved its headquarters to the second floor walkup, and WRIT's management company moved to the previously unused basement level. The more desirable and expensive first floor continued to be rented for bank and retail uses. After adjustments for improvements, depreciation and selling expenses, WRIT's gain on the sale is just under 3 cents per share, which will be paid to shareholders as part of their 1993 dividend.
 AN UNCONVENTIONAL, CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY
 WITH UNUSUAL RESULTS:
 EVERY TIME WRIT HAS DISPOSED OF A PROPERTY IN ITS
 33-YEAR HISTORY, THE TRUST HAS DOUBLED, TRIPLED,
 QUADRUPLED OR QUINTUPLED ITS INVESTMENT.
 The sale of 4936 Fairmont fits neatly into this multiple pattern at "quadruple;" and highlights WRIT's unconventional, conservative strategy. It is not unusual for investors who have a bad year of operations to hide losses by selling a very profitable investment at a big gain. Conversely, WRIT has 27 consecutive years of increased operating profits based on the discipline of buying and holding properties with future growth potential ... then constantly developing that growth potential with WRIT's low cost equity capital. Again conversely, WRIT sells only properties that have run out of growth potential. A restaurant owner bought 4936 Fairmont Avenue, because it is in Bethesda's opulent restaurant row at a price reflecting that a restaurant is the "highest and best use" ... far higher than "plain vanilla" offices, which are in over-supply. So the trust disposed of its no-growth property at quadruple its investment ... for unconventional reasons. In the 1970s WRIT disposed of rent controlled apartments to condominium convertors with similar circumstances.
 MOVING WRIT CORPORATE OFFICES TO
 10400 CONNECTICUT AVENUE, KENSINGTON, MD.,
 INCREASES VALUE OF GARAGE BY MULTIPLE OF TEN
 WRIT is moving its offices to another of its own office buildings, 10400 Connecticut Ave., Kensington, Md., which will now be named the WRIT Building. The trust will occupy the former 10,000 square foot garage which had rented for $10,000 per year or $1 per square foot per year. When the trust is finished its remodeling, WRIT will not only have created attractive and efficient office space with more than $120,000 of annual rental value, but will also save $21,000 a year in parking fees now being paid to Montgomery County.
 The credit or blame for creating extremely attractive and efficient offices in their own basements is not original. Old-fashioned development geniuses Morris Cafritz and Gustave Ring in the 1940s and 1950s said, "Let proud, fancy tenants pay higher rents for the upper floors. We will convert our wasted, cheap space into our own handsome and efficient offices."
 Long ago investment bankers discovered that the trust's "plain vanilla" second floor walkup (no elevator) masked an extremely efficient, small "hands-on" staff that joked about living in "genteel simplicity." Finally, efficiency dictated that the present 5,000 square foot WRIT second floor walkup and the 3,750 square foot basement walkdown management operation be merged into 10,000 square feet on one floor with its own gym, exercise facility and private controlled parking ... especially when offered quadruple WRIT's cost for the old building.
 SO BEGINS ANOTHER WRIT CYCLE OF UNORTHODOX,
 CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY AND PROFIT: RECYCLING INVESTMENT DOLLARS
 INTO NEW GROWTH POTENTIAL.
 -0- 7/7/93
 /CONTACT: Howard E. Cochran, vice president-finance, Washington Real Estate Investment Trust, 301-652-4300, or fax 301-652-4303, until Aug. 7; After Aug. 7, The WRIT Building, Concourse Level, 10400 Connecticut Ave., Kensington, Md. 20895/
 (WRE)


CO: Washington Real Estate Investment Trust ST: Maryland IN: CST SU:

IH-KD -- DC014 -- 9020 07/07/93 10:54 EDT
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Date:Jul 7, 1993
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