MINOT, N.D., Oct. 25, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Investors Real Estate Trust ("IRET") (Nasdaq:IRET) (Nasdaq:IRETP) announced today that Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) and Trinity Health have signed long-term leases with IRET's operating partnership, IRET Properties, to occupy commercial space at IRET Corporate Plaza located at 3015 16 th Street SW in Minot, North Dakota. Hess Corporation is a leading global independent energy company engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas. Hess discovered oil in North Dakota in 1951 and is the third-largest oil producer and largest gas producer in the state. Hess operates the Tioga Gas Plant and has additional operations in Williston as well as other communities throughout western North Dakota. Hess will occupy approximately 48,500 square feet of office space at IRET Corporate Plaza and has the option to lease additional space as it becomes available. Subject to scheduling and the completion of certain improvements, Hess is expected to begin occupying the space in stages starting early in 2011. IRET's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Tom Wentz, commented, "This is a very exciting real estate transaction not only for IRET, but also the community of Minot and Hess. We are very pleased with the outcome and how IRET's decision approximately four years ago to develop IRET Corporate Plaza in Minot has not only grown the City's property tax base but has provided Minot with the type of office space necessary to allow an international energy company such as Hess to locate a significant number of jobs into our community." As part of the transaction, Trinity Health, a community-based, non-profit healthcare organization, has agreed to occupy a new 22,000 square foot, one-story medical clinic to be built by IRET on land located in the northwest area of the IRET Corporate Plaza parcel. Construction of the new facility is scheduled to start yet this fall, with completion and occupancy by Trinity expected early summer of 2011.