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BXP Placing Another Bet On Office With 'Extensive' Renovation Of D.C.-Area Building

As many investors abandon the struggling office sector, the largest publicly traded office landlord is swimming against the current, pouring more money into buying out partners and renovating buildings. 

BXP's Wisconsin Place office building at 5404 Wisconsin Ave. just over the D.C. border.

Boston Properties' latest investment is an effort to upgrade its 11-story Wisconsin Place office building adjacent to the Friendship Heights Metro station. It developed the 301K SF property at 5404 Wisconsin Ave. in Chevy Chase, Maryland, directly across the border from D.C. in 2009.

The landlord, which trades as BXP, announced Tuesday that an "extensive renovation" is underway, designed by Hickok Cole. It is set to be completed this spring. It didn't disclose the project cost. 

The property was 64% occupied as of the end of the year, per the company’s quarterly earnings report. Microsoft is the building’s anchor tenant, per the Washington Business Journal, and University Research Co. and Artemis Real Estate Partners also have offices at the property, according to their websites. 

Last spring, Brown Advisory revealed plans to relocate all employees from the property to its Pennsylvania Avenue offices in D.C., Commercial Observer reported at the time.

The property is part of the Shops at Wisconsin Place mixed-use development, featuring Whole Foods, Bloomingdale's, Sephora and The Capital Grille.

“Our goal in elevating the client experience at Wisconsin Place is to bring the energy and vibrancy of the surrounding neighborhood into the property,” BXP Executive Vice President Jake Stroman said in a release. 

The revamp includes repositioning the third floor of the property as a 16K SF “amenity destination.” BXP is adding a 9K SF outdoor terrace with two media walls, a pergola and a kitchen to the third floor.

It will also further activate the two-story lobby as a “hospitality-focused greeting hub,” with a coffee bar and seating, the release said. And it is adding a conference facility, lounge and cafe area, expanded fitness facility with a personal trainer and a casual meeting lounge.

Transwestern’s Tom Hilley, Keith Foery, Phillip McCarthy, Mark Boyce and Karla Rivera are leasing the building on behalf of BXP. 

The renovation at Wisconsin Place is the latest sign that BXP is doubling down on its office portfolio. The company announced in its earnings release this month that it bought out its partners’ shares of office properties in D.C., New York City and Santa Monica, California. 

The D.C. building, 901 New York Ave. NW, is also on the boards for a renovation. Plans filed last month with the Zoning Commission show BXP is planning aesthetic enhancements to the facade and entryways, and the addition of two “sky garden” terraces to floors 10 and 11 as amenity spaces for tenants.

"We said last quarter we intended to shift to offense on capital deployment, and this has started," BXP CEO Owen Thomas said on the company's Jan. 31 earnings call.