Fresh after its IPO last week, American Financial Realty Trust has purchased 158 properties from Bank of America Corp. for nearly $800 million. The 8.1 million sq. ft. portfolio consists of office buildings, banking and operations centers scattered throughout 19 states. One of the properties is the Bank of America Center, the 1 million sq. ft., 50-story office building at 231 S. LaSalle St. in Chicago's Financial District, located across the street from the Chicago Board of Trade.

"We are very pleased with this transaction as it advances several key business objectives. Specifically, it will enable Bank of America to generate immediate cost savings, as well as increase our operating efficiency," says Robert M. Patterson, senior vice president of corporate real estate for Bank of America.

Bank of America will lease 5.2 million sq. ft. of the portfolio on a 20-year term, triple-net basis. The bank also will lease an additional 804,000 sq. ft. on a short-term basis. Approximately 813,000 sq. ft. are leased to third-party tenants on the closing date.

Shares of American Financial closed on the NYSE at $14.91 yesterday, up 6 cents.