09/05/2023 | by Sarah Borchersen-Keto
New COPT Defense logo

Corporate Office Properties Trust (NYSE: OFC) said it is changing its name to COPT Defense Properties (COPT Defense) to align with its defense and mission critical real estate focus.

The REIT said it decided to retain COPT in the new name because its tenants have used the acronym for over 25 years. Alongside the name change, the ticker symbol for its common shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange will switch from OFC to CDP effective Sept.15.

Steve Budorick, COPT president and CEO, said the timing of the name change “really is to educate current and potential investors, to better inform them of what our strategy is and why it's different from traditional office, and to reaffirm our commitment to only investing in defense assets.”

Budorick noted that since becoming CEO in 2016, 100% of the REIT’s newly-committed capital has been to defense-oriented real estate development.

During the last decade, COPT Defense sold about 11 million square feet of non-defense assets and developed 13 million square feet of assets at locations proximate to, or sometimes containing, priority national defense missions and mission critical operations.

Today its portfolio is 23 million square feet, which is bigger than when it set out on its strategy in 2013 to sell non-defense assets, with 90% of core portfolio annualized rental revenue derived from defense/IT locations.

Boeing office at dusk
Photo courtesy COPT Defense Properties.

“We have executed a strategy that has deeply concentrated our real estate portfolio at locations proximate to, or sometimes containing, priority national defense missions, and mission critical operations. This strategy has resulted in a uniquely strong portfolio of assets, with durable demand characteristics, superior tenant credit quality, growing cash flows, and consistent development opportunities, despite the fluctuations and uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment,” Budorick said.

At the same time, the critical nature of its tenants’ missions insulates the defense/IT portfolio from the headwinds of work from home trends and corporate rightsizing, which are affecting the broader office sector, Budorick said.