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Bye Bye BRAC Blues?

Washington, D.C. Office

Maybe not just yet. But one new Ballston lease is giving owners of BRAC-affected properties hope.

Avison Young's Mike Shuler, Dave Millard, and Rob Walters just helped broker a new 87k SF deal for Marymount University at FCP/RESI Management's 4040 N Fairfax. DoD vacated the building in late 2012 as part of BRAC, and the ownership was left with 184k SF of vacant, outdated space. (Except for the secret DoD laser jet packs that we know were in there somewhere.) But an aggressive renovation followed, and FCP's Tom Carr tells us "Well-located buildings with good floor plates, light, and nearby amenities have the opportunity to compete," especially if an investment in renovations--if needed--is made.

A market like Ballston is well poised for BRAC recovery, Tom adds, since there's a unique tenant base already in place: "While the government continues to be very important, there are many potential pools of demand. Marymount is a great example." (He's right--nobody is more demanding that a college student.) But if the location doesn't fit and an existing building's inefficient, it may be harder to fill vacant space, says Tom. "Honestly, it starts with good bones." Dave and colleagues Peter Berk and Josh Peyton repped Marymount, while Rob, Mike, and colleague Nate Krill repped the ownership; Marymount's move-in will be phased, with a portion of the space being filled July 1 and another portion Jan. 1, 2015.