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Md. REIT to lay off 72 in Bethesda and Columbia

(ml12nan /

(ml12nan /

First Potomac Realty Trust, a Bethesda real estate investment trust that has announced plans to merge with another REIT based in Massachusetts, now plans to lay off 72 workers in Maryland.

First Potomac told the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation that it would lay off 50 workers from its Bethesda office and 22 workers from its Columbia office, effective October 1. The company said the cuts were part of a mass layoff rather than office closures.

The company, which reported a loss of $2.7 million, or 5 cents per diluted share, in its second quarter results, owns, manages and develops office and business park properties in and around Washington. In June, First Potomac agreed to merge with Government Properties Income Trust, which would buy all outstanding shares of First Potomac for $11.15 when the deal closes, assuming that First Potomac’s shareholders approve the deal at a special meeting.

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