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First Industrial Realty Trust's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

We remained focused on the internal growth opportunity from leasing up these and other vacancies towards our goal of 92% occupancy by yearend 2013.

We increased same-store NOI by 6.7% compared to a year ago. Because of our first quarter performance, we are raising our guidance range for same-store NOI growth to 2.5% to 4.5% for the year, up 50 basis points at both ends of the range.

Our rental rate change was negative 4.6% and was positive 1.2% on a GAAP basis, an improvement compared to last year. While it is good to see this progress in the quarter we aren’t declaring victory on this metric as our outlook for the year costs were continued roll down. Not much is changed in the market environment since we last spoke to you in late February.

We are seeing decent activity across most of our regions. Of note, we’re seeing solid interest in expansions from a number of smaller tenants particularly in Denver and Tampa. While there is increased (inaudible) potential new development projects, there is not much coming out of the ground expect in a few select markets.

Moving on to dispositions in the quarter, we sold three buildings totaling 676,000 square feet or roughly $20 million including two buildings in Portland, Tennessee outside of Nashville. Two of these sales were the users. The other two are an investor. Overall these assets were 70% occupied. We completed the sales at approximately 50% above our written down book basis.

Recall that our sales target for the year remained $75 million to $100 million. Based on our pipeline, we expect this pace to grow in the second quarter and then pick up in the back half of the year. Proceeds will be used for new investments or paying down higher cost debt depending on the relative opportunity.

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