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NoMa Development Site, Long Planned For Office, Sells To Multifamily Developer

The NoMa development site at 1150 First St. NE

Tishman Speyer is selling a development site in the fast-growing NoMa neighborhood it has planned as an office project for over a decade. 

The New York-based real estate firm sold the site at 1150 First St. NE to an affiliate of Carmel Partners for $30.8M in a deal posted Thursday to the D.C. Recorder of Deeds. 

San Francisco-based Carmel Partners, a real estate firm specializing in multifamily development, has completed seven renovation projects in the D.C. area, according to its website. Carmel Partners and Tishman Speyer declined to comment. 

Newmark Knight Frank Executive Managing Director Mark Anstine, who brokered the deal on behalf of the seller, said there was heavy interest in the site from multifamily developers primarily because of its zoning. The site is zoned D-5, a high-density classification that allows for office or residential use, and developers do not have to go through the planned-unit development process that has allowed appeals to delay projects throughout the city. 

"The residential development community really gravitated to this site because it was D-5, it was unappealable and the only zoning in the city that was bulletproof in terms of getting things out of the ground these days," Anstine said. 

Tishman Speyer had acquired the site in 2006 from J Street Development, along with the adjacent 1100 First St. NE site. It said in 2007 that it planned to construct office buildings on both sites, and it was successful on the 1100 First parcel.

The trophy office building it developed on the 1100 First site landed Mathematica for 125K SF, the Department of Veterans Affairs for 123K SF and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for 35K SF. It then sold the building for $165M in 2011 to The Rockefeller Group, which later sold it to Japanese investor Unizo. 

But Tishman Speyer was unable to sign a pre-lease that could kick off an office development on the 1150 First parcel. The property has recently been used as a pop-up library, which the D.C. Public Library system opened last year in shipping containers. 

Carmel has not unveiled its plans for the site, but the type of residential development it specializes in would fit with the trend of NoMa's recent construction wave. At least five NoMa multifamily buildings have delivered in the last year, with more under construction today.