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Yet Another Alexandria Office Building Is Planned For A Condo Conversion

An old rendering showing Finmarc's vision for converting 801 North Fairfax St. to condos.

An Alexandria office building has sold to a buyer that plans to turn it into condos, the latest in a string of office-to-residential conversions in Northern Virginia.

Abramson Properties acquired the four-story, 66K SF office building at 801 North Fairfax St. from Finmarc Management for $13M, the seller announced Thursday.

Cushman & Wakefield's John Pellerito and Paul Norman Jr. represented Finmarc in the sale. Finmarc acquired the building in 2014 for $9M, property records show. 

The buyer plans to convert the vacant office building into a 54-unit condo project, with construction expected to begin this year. 

The sale comes after an Abramson affiliate filed a zoning application last year to increase the building height to 77 feet along with a planned conversion. The Alexandria Planning Commission approved the application on June 25. 

Alexandria-based Abramson Properties in 2019 built a 278-unit project, in partnership with Weingarten Realty, near the intersection of King and Beauregard streets. It has also built a series of smaller condo and townhouse projects. 

The office building at 801 North Fairfax St. in Alexandria.

The office building, constructed in 1971, sits two blocks from the waterfront and about a half-mile from the Braddock Road Metro station. It is also one block from the site of the former Crowne Plaza Hotel, which Carr Cos. and CIM plan to convert into a 122-unit condo building with 41 townhouses on an adjacent parking lot.

Also known as Waterfront I, the building is part of a two-property complex that also includes Waterfront II, a 90K SF office building at 209 Madison St. Finmarc acquired the buildings together in 2014, and it still owns the latter. 

Finmarc Vice President Sean Sullivan said it plans to use the proceeds to fund future acquisitions, and it has a goal of acquiring $200M of assets this year. 

“During our nearly seven-year hold period of Waterfront I, we were able to maximize value in this asset and believe the planned residential use represents an excellent strategy moving forward based on the evolution of North Old Town,” Sullivan said in a release. 

The project is one of at least seven office-to-residential conversion projects to move forward in Northern Virginia over the last two years. The most recent one came Monday, when PRP announced it closed the financing to convert the office building at 4900 Seminary Road in Alexandria into 213 luxury apartments.

Northern Virginia has led the region in the office-to-residential conversion trend, as it has a large number of old, vacant office buildings with a relatively low cost basis, but experts say rising vacancy in the District could spur more conversions in the downtown office market.