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First Potomac to lay off more than half of employees prior to merger

First Potomac Realty Trust is laying off 72 of its about 120 employees prior to a merger deal it signed with Government Properties Income Trust, the Washington Business Journal reported, citing a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice filed by the company to Maryland's labor department.

The notice covers 50 of its staff in Bethesda, Md., and 22 in Columbia, Md., and will take effect Oct. 1, according to the Aug. 1 report.

Government Properties has already identified approximately $300 million worth of First Potomac assets that it plans to sell off while still reviewing the latter's 6.5 million-square-foot portfolio for assets to be kept, the report added, citing a statement from Government Properties President and CEO David Blackman during an earnings call Aug. 1.

The $1.4 billion merger deal signed in June is scheduled to close by the end of 2017 and expected to create scale for Government Properties in the Washington, D.C., office market.