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Could Uptown Become the New Downtown?

Washington DC Office

If you want to know where office tenants are migrating, you've got to follow the amenities. Companies are going to spots they once ignored, a trend we'll be exploring at our third annual DC State of Office event next Tuesday at the Willard.

Take a look at Uptown—the northernmost submarket in the city, including Chevy Chase, Tenleytown, and Van Ness. (Places you reach via the Red Line, or while daydreaming as your Farragut North exit passes by.) Cushman & Wakefield's Mark Wooters tells us the unique mix of a young employment base and a variety of amenities is keeping it relevant. Whereas once tenants might just go for the best deal or to be near the homes of executives, the focus has expanded to being near activities and dining options their employees can enjoy. Uptown has a bevy of restaurants, bars, and entertainment options, Mark says.

Mark and colleagues Michael Katcher and Kyle McFadden have just been tapped by owner JOSS Realty Partners to lease 2233 Wisconsin Ave NW in Glover Park. NYC-based JOSS, which purchased the building from Carr Properties for about $30M this summer, is doing common area upgrades and renovating the patio. Ground-floor retail tenants CorePower Yoga and bar/restaurant Breadsoda are also big draws. The renovations are working: Groups located in spots south (Georgetown) and north (Bethesda) are interested in the available space, the brokers say. It speaks to the value of Uptown, too: according to Michael, tenants can save anywhere from $5 to $10/SF relative to similar spaces downtown.

Sources tell us the Holiday Inn Georgetown, just a few blocks away, is on the market and that interested buyers have redevelopment in mind. One source even said a mixed-use, grocery-anchored project could be in the works, which would put three grocery stores in that small stretch of Wisconsin Avenue, including Whole Foods and the Social Safeway.

Another NYC-based owner is dropping big dollars in Uptown, as the 601W Companies is putting major renovations into the former Intelsat campus at 4000 Connecticut Ave in Van Ness. Since Intelsat vacated earlier this year, the owner has a daunting 600k SF to fill, although as we told you back in May, a decent chunk is under negotiation. Click here for more info on next Tuesday's event.