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DC's Silicon Avenue?

Washington DC Office

In two weeks, Intelsat will exit its iconic Connecticut Avenue HQ at Van Ness for new digs in Tysons, leaving the building owner with over 600k SF to fill. (We have enough trouble filling 60 seconds of awkward conversation.) Yesterday, we toured the building with one of the brokers, who want to make it a tech mecca.

In the lobby (and makeshift leasing center), we snapped CBRE's Mark Klug, who's marketing the space with colleagues Scott Frankel, Max Friedman, and Larry Thau. Mark tells us 60k SF of the available 625k SF is under negotiation, with one large tenant likely to sign in the next two weeks. By then, satellite provider Intelsat will have moved out—it's already begun taking down some of the rockets and other satellite models that once dressed up the large, light-filled lobbies and atriums, as seen behind Mark here. (It doubles as a re-enactment of the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis.) Once the space is vacated, renovations will soon begin on the campus-like complex.

The 1982-vintage building was once ahead of its time, with ample column-free spacing, floor-to-ceiling glass, and green roofs. (The '60s had free love, but the '80s were column free.) The building is comprised of 14 different "pods," Mark says, several of which have their own rooftop deck. A 20k SF conference center will be added, which would be capable of hosting large-scale events. And once major renovation is complete, the look will go from this...

... to this more inviting feel. Mark tells us the design (led by VOA) is aimed at bringing the efficient and collaborative features often found in Silicon Valley and European markets to the East Coast. The space should be ideal for "eds, meds, and feds," he adds, due to the campus-like setting. Tech firms and embassies are also likely targets given the wide-column spacing and abundance of natural light, he says.

The owner, The 601W Cos, has even built out two full floors of spec suites to give prospective tenants an idea of what's possible. Mark tells us there'll also be a marketplace instead of a food court.

Here's what Mark calls the building's "moon garden," a roof deck that's currently enclosed but will soon be combined with additional outdoor features.