Studley is using its DC office to launch its national Sustainable Real Estate practice. It will be headed by Olivia Millar, one of the city’s first LEED Accredited Professional commercial real estate advisors. (LEED, of course, stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, and is one of the top industry certifications, in this case offered by the US Green Building Council.)
Unlike building owners, property managers, and developers that have been following – in some instances, reluctantly – the green building movement for several years now, tenants have only recently become aware of the benefits of working in such offices. New to the issues, most companies are ill-equipped to negotiate the leases and subsequent credits that ensue. Enter Studley.
“Our biggest job is ensuring that, through the building selection process and lease negotiation the would-be tenant is not leaving money on the table,” Millar says. There are about a dozen credits that a broker can affect, she adds. Lease language, for instance, about the cleaning practices and recycling program in the building, are important too, Millar adds.
There are only a handful of suitable green buildings in the DC area for tenants right now, but more continue to enter the pipeline, Millar says. Sooner or later, the supply-demand balance of LEED certified office buildings here may find itself out of whack: Millar says there is a growing desire by companies outside of the conservation movement for green office space. “In the last 12 months or so there has been recognition from a much broader market that this is an important part of recruiting and retaining talent – even law firms are talking about this.” Studley, she reports, is working with Mayer Brown on the interior construction of its future headquarters at 1999 K St. The Vornado building is going for both Core & Shell and Commercial Interior Silver LEED certification. “It may be the first law firm to occupy a LEED certified building in the city,” Millar says.
Speaking of green buildings, Carr Properties has arranged $104 million in financing for its office under construction at 901 K St. Carr is going for Gold LEED for the 261,000 SF, 12-story building. The Washington, DC office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler secured the 36-month construction loan facility, which is being co-led by Wells Fargo as administrative agent and PNC as syndication agent. US Bank and Chevy Chase Bank are also in the syndication.
Johnson Capital's Washington, D.C. office recently arranged $36 million in financing for Prestwick Apartments, a 310-unit apartment building in Falls Church owned by Fairfield. The seven-year, fixed-to-float loan was secured through Freddie Mac's Acquisition-Rehab program, at an interest rate of 5.8 percent.
The JBG Companies has handed the baton to Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers to continue leasing out 1101 K St., a 310,000 SF office building that delivered in 2006 and includes Brasserie Beck restaurant.
A two-tower 517,305-sf office called Jefferson Plaza, was purchased from Equity Group Investments. Lowe Enterprises Investors, the investment management affiliate of Lowe Enterprises, has acquired the Crystal City office building.
Another day, another DC company looking to buy land in anticipation of the next real estate cycle. Last week it was Reston-based Duvall; this week it is Federal Capital Partners. The firm has brought in Alan Shearer, from The Mills Corp. to be its new managing director of land.
Ontario Court Apartments, a $9 million project in Adams Morgan has broken ground. The project, supported by Enterprise Community Investment, Jubilee Housing, Jubilee JumpStart and PNC Bank, will be rehabilitating 27 affordable apartment units and will include a 24-hour child care center. Ontario Court will deliver in Fall 2008.