More Associations Headed for 'Burbs
Arlington and Alexandria are attracting more nonprofits and associations. And they're not just coming for the tree-lined streets and July 4th parades.
The National Council on Aging recently committed to a 12-year lease in Crystal City, moving its HQ from 1901 L St NW into smaller, more efficient space. The organization is moving out two years before its lease downtown expires, with its new landlord assuming the financial burden. The new space is not only more efficient, but it includes a lower overall rental rate. NCOA follows in the footsteps of the National Railway Labor Conference, which moved its HQ from downtown DC to a 13,200 SF space in Crystal City.
West, Lane & Schlager's Eric West and Matt Levin helped NCOA find its new HQ. Matt (right) says many associations are either moving into smaller offices or designing more open floor plans to fit more employees. NCOA is going from 16k SF to 14k SF. NCOA president/CEO James Firman says the organization also wanted a more collaborative space, allowing it “to be good stewards with our budget.”
The City of Alexandria recently wooed the American Association of Physicists in Medicine from College Park, MD. The association will purchase and make improvements to a 12k SF space (larger than its previous space) at 1631-33 Prince St, and move in October. Alexandria was able to offer financing assistance through its Industrial Development Authority, which acts as a conduit for bonds and lending proceeds to nonprofits. The financial markets set interest rates on such bonds below comparable rates.
Alexandria Economic Development Partnership acting president/CEO Stephanie Landrum says the city has used the IDA financing tool to help recruit and retain over 50 nonprofits through 64 transactions since 1998. The American Association of Physicists in Medicine says it also came for the workforce in Alexandria, since so many other associations call the city home. Stephanie adds that all industries are taking advantage of the real estate market and many are finding ways to buy office condos in Alexandria or move into space they couldn’t afford five to 10 years ago.