REIT to buy 2 big suburban warehouses

    A Pennsylvania real estate investment trust has agreed to buy two southwest suburban warehouses that are set to lose their tenants, betting it can quickly fill 1.2 million square feet in an improving Chicago-area industrial market.

    Malvern, Pa.-based Liberty Property Trust is poised to buy a 723,291-square-foot Romeoville warehouse fully leased by Home Depot Inc. and a 456,476-square-foot Minooka warehouse owned and used by beauty products maker Alberto Culver Co.

    Donald Schoenheider, a Chicago-based executive for Liberty, confirmed both buildings are under contract but declined to name a price.

    The purchases are part of Liberty’s plan to raise its Chicago-area industrial portfolio to about 8 million square feet by the end of the year, from its current 6.6 million, Mr. Schoenheider said. To do so, it is willing to buy properties with short-term tenants.

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