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Duke poised to buy South Florida portfolio

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Locally based Duke Realty Corp. is poised to buy a $500 million portfolio of industrial and office properties located primarily in South Florida from Premier Commercial Realty, according to a report in the South Florida Business Journal.

The purchase would continue Duke’s recent push into the South Florida industrial market. It bought its first two South Florida bulk industrial buildings from Pompano Beach-based Premier in June as part of the $20 million purchase of the 27-acre Premier Turnpike Park. By late October, Duke had leased one of the 112,000-square-foot buildings to the General Services Administration.

Duke officials didn’t return calls seeking comment on the pending purchase of the much larger Premier portfolio, which comprises about 6.5 million square feet of space. The sale is expected to close by the end of the year.

Duke’s previous purchase of property from Premier isn’t the only connection between the companies. Ed Mitchell, Duke’s senior vice president in South Florida, was formerly president of Premier.

Duke has been on a buying spree this year compared to the depths of the recession in 2009. Through the first three quarters of 2010, Duke spent $324 million on income-producing properties and developable land. It spent $17 million in the same period last year.

The company reported operating income of $155.3 million for the first three quarters of the year, compared with a loss of $143.5 million in the same period last year.

Its stock closed Monday at $11.33, down 8 cents on the day. Shares have traded as low as $10.19 and as high as $14.35 over the past year.
 

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