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May 16, 2008
Deal Sheet
(our more serious side)


Investment Sales

BECO Management in Rockville has picked up a nine-asset office/flex portfolio in Lanham’s Washington Business Park for $68 million. Cohen Companies was the seller, represented by Jim Darby, Rob Foa, Gerry Trainor, and Dan Speilman of Transwestern’s Institutional Commercial Group. The 565,991 SF portfolio includes two office buildings and seven flex buildings that on 47.6 acres of land. The portfolio is 89% leased.


Government contractor CACI will be occupying the first building under development at G.A.T.E – the 400-acre complex Opus East is building at the US Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground under an Enhanced Use Lease. The 60,000 SF R&D facility will be ready for CACI to move into by October. Meanwhile, Opus East is working on leasing a four-story, 80,000 SF office building under development that is also part of phase one.

On the Market

As part of its efforts to streamline its real estate portfolio, Greyhound Lines is selling two sites in NoMa. They are 1005 First Street, a 1.635-acre site now operating as a Greyhound bus station; and 1345 New York, the 3.13-acre site currently leased to the DC Public Schools.  The two can support up to 1.2 million SF of development. CBRE SVP Mark Mallus is representing Greyhound.  Greyhound is not selling the First Street site (the last major site in NoMa not owned by an end developer) outright as it plans to structure the transaction as a sale-leaseback and remain in the facility. The New York Avenue site is the largest site available with dense commercial zoning on a major avenue in DC, CBRE says.

GVA Advantis   Opus East  


Corus Bank has closed on a $72 million loan to finance the construction of 55 M, a nine-story, class A office building being developed by a JV between Monument Realty, MacFarlane Partners and Lehman Brothers. Part of Monument Realty’s “Half Street” project, the building will have 260,764 SF of office, 13,153 SF of retail and three levels of underground parking.

Short Takes

The District is formalizing its search for a master developer for Anacostia Waterfront’s East Hill neighborhood, the 50-acre plot of land along the waterfront, plus the old DC General Hospital campus. The master plan calls for 5 million SF of mixed-use development. Also, the developer needs green bona fides as the USGBC has selected the site as a LEED neighborhood development area.


Details continue to solidify for the 10-acre former Convention site. Hines│Archstone, of course, is the master developer of six of those acres – a $850 million mixed use project that it will break ground on next January. Now, DC has decided to give Parcel B, a portion of the remaining 10-acres to Hines│Archstone to develop as well. Eventually (no schedule has been set yet for building) it will house a mixed-use project that will include a 400-key luxury hotel and 100,000 SF of retail. The entire project has been branded CityCenter DC.


CBRE has landed the mandate to lease out the top floors of the 10-story, 255,000 SF trophy office Ralph Dweck is building at 300 New Jersey. Dweck purchased the site, as well as 51 Louisiana, for $825 per SF, or $378 million from JBG Cos. earlier this year. SVPs Peter Connolly and Joe Michel and VP Scott Russi are handling the assignment. Jones Day will be occupying the first five floors of 300 New Jersey – an expansion for the law firm, which already occupies 51 Louisiana.


Arent Fox is another law firm not straying far from home. As we reported yesterday the company is moving (if you can call wheeling furniture across an alley moving) next door to 1000 Connecticut to occupy 255,000 SF -- floors 2 through 9 --  of the12-story, 370,545 SF building under construction. David Lipson, Tom Fulcher, Art Greenberg and Adam Schindler of Studley represented the law firm. Audrey Cramer and Lou Christopher represented the owners (the Small, Gewirz, and Kaplan families).


These firms, though, are the exception to the rule for DC this year. JLL reports that there is a record volume of renewals for the area. Of the leases signed in DC and Northern VA this year that were greater than 20,000 SF, 42% were renewals, compared to the traditional 27%. JLL says that high commodity prices (which means expensive moves and expensive tenant build-outs) and an uncertain economy are causing companies to stay put. Costs for build-outs from shell have risen 52% since 2003, JLL says.


Potomac Mills is expanding by 50,000 SF in new restaurant and retail space. It is also building a 34,000 SF Neiman Marcus Last Call Clearance Center.


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