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January 10, 2012  
 
 
Three Cool Cribs

Hear from ABC's White House correspondent and a former Obama advisor. Our next Bisnow event is this Thursday. Sign up!

 
Today, we roll out Part I of our list of DC real estate's coolest offices. If you don't see yours on here, fear not—we're just getting started.
 
1. Jemal's Living Museum
Douglas Development, office
Douglas Development's 702 H St. HQ could hold a world record for “most eclectic decorations for a real estate office”: stuffed birds, kitschy antiques, framed newspapers, and even a few live animals. (There's also a full bar.) Company principal Norman Jemal tells us the firm collected the bric-a-brac “piece by piece” over its 12-year tenure in the 10k SF space, with the end goal of of creating “a place that feels warm and non-institutional.” 32 employees call it home, and Norman says the unique space has created a fun-yet-productive atmosphere—“People get more done when they're comfortable.” Above: the office's club house/conference room, snapped this morning.
2. Golfing with NAI The Michael Cos.
driving range
Looking for a place to work on your swing and ink a few deals at the same time? Look no further than NAI The Michael Cos.' 10100 Business Pkwy. office in Lanham, which features a driving range, basketball courts, and picnic tables for outdoor lunches. NAI's Dennis Brownlee tells us the building originally housed a Land Rover training facility; his company invested $500k in upgrades after leasing 15k SF there three years ago. Open floor plans and green features have helped the firm decrease its operating costs by nearly $2.50/SF, he says.
3. A Gym Fanatic's Paradise
 
Health is wealth, a lesson Wetland Studies and Solutions took to heart when designing its office. The 42k SF LEED Gold complex, set on five acres in rural Gainesville, VA, features a full gym with a mini-turf field, free daily sessions with a personal trainer, a bike station, and even a Weight Watchers program for the waistline-conscious. It's created quite the buzz: the company's Justin Jacobs tells us, “we're still giving tours, six years after we finished construction.”
 
Is your office so cool that people want to live there? Send your suggestions to mike.leon@bisnow.com.

Bisnow
Breaking News:
K Street Sale
 
2131 K St
Moments ago, Transwestern announced it brokered the sale of 2131 K St. from JOSS Realty Partners to an undisclosed buyer for $28.8M. The eight story, 88k SF building is 90% leased to tenants such as the GWU Hospital, Gambro Healthcare, and the Atlantic Services Group. Transwestern also repped JOSS when it initially purchased the building for $21.1M five years ago.

Bisnow
Acentia Emigrates to NoVa
 
3130 Fairview Park Dr.
Acentia is departing Montgomery County for Northern VA, announcing yesterday a 46k SF HQ deal at 3130 Fairview Park Dr. in Falls Church. JLL's Dee MacDonald-Miller repped the IT company with colleagues Robb Johnson and Mike Blyumin, telling us workforce demographics drove the decision to consolidate several Silver Spring locations across the river: “Their mission is to attract and retain the best tech workers, and NoVa has a bigger population of those people than Maryland.”
 
Acentia CEO Todd Stottlemyer and CFO Tom Weston
Above, Acentia CEO Todd Stottlemyer and CFO Tom Weston. The Falls Church building also offered a more competitive rental rate than its MoCo competition, which Dee chalks up to less Metro proximity. Both jurisdictions offered similar incentives, she says, and the space will also house employees from Acentia's VA field office. Added bonus: the deal is also among the first relocations toward the new Defense Health HQ, located at 7700 Arlington Blvd.

Bisnow
Come See the Political Stars!
 
We’re thrilled to be hosting two of Washington’s top political analysts this Thursday morning—less than 36 hours after the New Hampshire primary. Ann Compton has been ABC’s chief White House correspondent for years (she was the only broadcast journalist on board Air Force 1 with President Bush after 9/11) and Linda Douglass was President Obama’s spokesperson during his 2008 campaign, inauguration, and healthcare initiative after taking office, as well as chief congressional correspondent for CBS News before that. If you want to know what the experts think about the GOP race or how they match up with the President, this is the place to be in Washington this week. Jan. 12. Sign up now!

Bisnow
USDA Closings: Don't Worry
 
Darian LeBlanc, Scott Killie, Cassidy Turley
The local fallout from yesterday's announcement that USDA will close 259 offices will probably be minimal, Cassidy Turley's Darian LeBlanc (right, with colleague Scott Killie) tells us. “I haven’t studied the list of every office that will be affected nationally, but this isn’t something that is likely to impact local leased space." The initiative has been in the works for a while, he says, and is tied to cost cutting measures. Some good news: "Many of the affected jobs will survive.”
 
US Capitol
Short-term budget woes certainly serve as an impetus to the decision, he says, but government agencies have been aiming for tighter space utilizations for some time. (In 2010, the agency consolidated several DC-area offices with its 330k SF lease at Patriots Plaza.) Either way, it'll take some time before the lights go off—when it comes to the feds, nothing happens quickly. Darian also tells us he repped the World Bank in last week's State Department deal with colleagues Zeke Dodson, Laurie McMahon, and Dick Hadsell.

Bisnow
Federal Realty Buys on the Pike
 
Montrose Crossing
With yesterday's $127M purchase of a controlling interest in Montrose Crossing on Rockville Pike, Federal Realty Investment Trust now controls 1.2M SF of retail within a mile radius of the 357k SF center. We've reached out to Federal Realty for comment on their plans for the center (will it be redeveloped a la Mid Pike Plaza?) but have yet to hear back. CBRE's Jeff Dunne, David Gavin, Bill Kent, and Gary Lawrence brokered the sale.

Bisnow
Renewal in Reston
 
12350 Pinecrest Rd., Reston
This morning The Ezra Co. announced that software company Distributed Solutions has signed a 15k SF lease extension in Reston. Gene Martin and Damon Rothman say the company examined options in the Herndon/Reston submarket before accepting “aggressive” lease terms (we think that means more evergreen trees) from its existing landlord at 12350 Pinecrest Rd., First Potomac Realty Trust.
 
Send story ideas to mike.leon@bisnow.com.
 
 
 
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