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Blackboard Looks To Sublease Entire New D.C. Headquarters Space

The kitchen area in Blackboard's D.C. headquarters at 1111 19th St. NW

D.C.-based education technology company Blackboard moved into a new, 70K SF headquarters in late 2016, but it appears to be changing its real estate strategy. 

Blackboard has listed its entire D.C. office space, located on floors eight through 10 at 1111 19th St. NW, on the market for sublease. 

The listing, posted on CoStar, was first reported by Tech Offices Spaces, a blog run by Savills Studley Corporate Managing Director Jon Glass. Blackboard initially subleased 12K SF, and the newest listing seeks a tenant for the remaining 58K SF. 

Blackboard's lease runs through October 2028, and the listing says it is looking to sublease the space for the remainder of the term. It describes the space as vacant and says it is available immediately. The asking rent is $52/SF. 

The headquarters housed more than 300 employees when the company moved there in 2016. A spokesperson for Blackboard said the company still has employees working on each of the three floors. 

“As we continue to operate our business efficiently, Blackboard constantly evaluates the market to ensure we are receiving [the] best value for both our employees and owners," the spokesperson said. 

Founded in Dupont Circle in 1997, Blackboard in 2015 decided to stay in the District after weighing options in Northern Virginia, moving its headquarters from 650 Massachusetts Ave. NW to 1111 19th St. NW. It received financial incentives as part of D.C.'s Creative and Open Space Modernization Amendment Act of 2015, which offers a tax rebate for companies that lease over 50K SF for at least 12 years. It remains unclear how subleasing its space would affect the incentives package. 

The tech company has 17 offices across the U.S., including one in Reston at 11710 Plaza America Drive, and 11 more around the globe. 

The 270K SF building is owned by Japanese investor Unizo, which bought it for $203M in August as part of a nine-building, $1.4B D.C. acquisition spree. Two of its tenants, Edgeworth Economics and Mercy Corps, have recently doubled their footprints in the building. The building is also home to Wawa's first D.C. store.