Colonial Properties Trust, a Birmingham, Ala.-based diversified real estate investment trust, and DRA Advisors, a New York-based investment adviser, are acquiring CRT Properties, an office REIT, for $1.8 billion.Colonial Properties is investing about $50 million for a 15% interest in the portfolio and will also manage most of the properties in the portfolio, the REIT said. In addition to the equity put in by the partners, the acquisition costs include the assumption of about $369 million of mortgage debt and the addition of about $1.1 billion in additional secured debt on the properties, Colonial said. The venture plans to begin selling 10 properties totaling $363 million in the fourth quarter. "This investment enhances our management and market penetration in high-growth Sunbelt cities where we currently operate," said Thomas H. Lowder, Colonial's chairman and chief executive officer. The acquisition will add 11.7 million square feet of office space to Colonial Properties' portfolio, taking it to 20 million square feet, the REIT said.

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