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Alexandria Office Building To Be Converted To Private High School

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5252 Cherokee Ave. in Alexandria
The office building at 5252 Cherokee Ave. in Alexandria

Demand for more educational space in the D.C. region is forcing schools to get creative about where they will open classrooms. 

Immanuel Christian School, a private school located in Springfield, has signed a 27K SF lease in an office building at 5252 Cherokee Ave. in Alexandria.

It plans to begin converting the office space into a school this quarter and complete the project this fall. The school's main campus sits 2.5 miles away at 5915 Braddock Road in Springfield.

The school currently offers kindergarten through eighth grade, and the new building will allow it to expand its program through high school. It plans to open ninth and 10th grade this year, add 11th grade next year and 12th grade in 2021.

Immanuel Christian School ultimately aims to acquire the building, said Cushman & Wakefield's Jon Mahaffey, who represented the school in the lease. Summit Commercial Real Estate's James Legat represented the building's owner, Nazir Baghat. The conversion project will be managed by Cushman & Wakefield's Jon Greenberg and designed by Cooper Carry's Lauren Ford. 

Many parts of the D.C. region have experienced a shortage of school space, with Montgomery County putting in place caps on housing development until new school space is built. The large stock of vacant office buildings in the area offers a convenient solution that schools have begun to capitalize on. The former Intelsat headquarters in Northwest D.C. is being converted to a global private school founded by educational entrepreneur Chris Whittle. 

"This is a great example of a trend we're seeing across suburban D.C.'s office market — older office buildings being converted to alternative uses, in this case a school," Mahaffey said in a release. "It's a perfect adaptive reuse that's both sustainable and benefits the surrounding community."