DC: Makeover Mania
So, you want to redevelop that old office building. What do you do with the folks already leasing there? Panelists at our recent DC Repositioning Summit say it's complicated. Minshall Stewart's John Stewart has overseen high-profile repositions and says owners need to be creative with tenants in a repositioned building. (Give everyone a turn at the jackhammer?) Sometimes it means moving a tenant around a building and other times buying a tenant out of a lease, he says. But it's also important to sell tenants on the benefit of a repositioned property.
MRP's Bob Murphy and WRIT's Tom Regnell are involved with some big repositions right now—MRP's re-do of the Bethesda Air Rights complex (now renamed "Bethesda Crossing" in Bethesda, Md.) and WRIT's facelift of 7900 Westpark Dr in Tysons Corner, Va. Tom says differentiating the renovations from the rest of the market is a key way to win occupancy, since today's tenant base is more sophisticated than ever. Bob says it's important to poll existing tenants on what they need, a strategy that led to putting a 3,000 SF gym in Bethesda Crossing. (Existing tenants felt that other existing tenants needed a gym.)