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PHOTOS: Federal Realty Moves Into New Pike & Rose Headquarters, Aims To Lease Up Building

The lounge area in Federal Realty's new headquarters in the 909 Rose building.

Federal Realty Investment Trust has faced a difficult year as it navigates the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the retail industry, but those challenges didn't stop it from moving ahead with plans for a new headquarters. 

The REIT last month moved into 909 Rose, the office building it delivered this summer at the Pike & Rose development in North Bethesda. Federal Realty CEO Don Wood showed Bisnow around the building Wednesday.

The entrance to the 909 Rose office building at the Pike & Rose development.

The REIT is occupying the second and third floors of the 11-story, 212K SF office building, which sits at the intersection of Rockville Pike and Rose Avenue. 

Federal Realty still has a majority of its headquarters employees working remotely, but Wood said it has about one-third of the workforce occupying the space at any one time. 

Federal Realty CEO Don Wood in the corner office of the company's new headquarters.

Wood said he was initially hesitant to make the move during a pandemic, but he is now happy with the decision because the new office has improved company morale during what has been a difficult year. 

"That's been a huge morale booster, because the camaraderie and the ability to look at somebody and work through problems really can't be done in ways other than face-to-face, in my opinion," Wood said. 

The workspace area in Federal Realty's new headquarters.

The building features open floor plates with roughly 20K SF on each floor. It has a ventilation system that creates 30% more fresh air than code requires, a factor Wood said has become much more important during the pandemic. 

It also features contactless entry through the garage and main entrance and a touchless elevator system. Additionally, it provides WiFi for the rooftop terrace so employees can work in the open air. 

Federal Realty's newly delivered 909 Rose office building at the Pike & Rose development.

Federal Realty has closed one deal for a tenant to join it at the building, with advisory firm OneDigital leasing the seventh floor. 

The developer is building out spec suites on the sixth floor to court smaller tenants looking for quick move-ins. It also has a letter of intent for the fourth and fifth floors, but Wood declined to disclose the tenant. 

The available 11th-floor office space in the newly delivered 909 Rose building.

The main chunk of the building that Federal Realty is still looking to lease is the top four floors, totaling 80K SF. Wood said he could try to sign a series of smaller tenants, but he would prefer to land one big anchor for the top portion of the building. 

"I'm looking to hit a home run with this space," Wood said while walking Bisnow through the empty 11th floor. 

The lobby in the 909 Rose office building.

Wood thinks the hub-and-spoke approach some companies are considering during the pandemic could benefit the building, with a Downtown D.C. tenant potentially opening an office in the suburbs. 

"If you're not going to require your people to come to 16th and K five days a week and they live in Potomac and Bethesda and Rockville, should you have a Maryland office?" Wood said. "Could this be the right kind of location for that? That's where I think we're ground zero." 

The rooftop of the 909 Rose office building, overlooking Rockville Pike.

The building has an indoor-outdoor rooftop amenity space available to all tenants and a private terrace for a tenant on the 11th floor. The outdoor amenity spaces overlook Rockville Pike and the remainder of the Pike & Rose development. 

The indoor rooftop amenity space at the 909 Rose office building.

The 24-acre Pike & Rose mixed-use project features 765 apartments, 99 condos, a 177-room hotel and more than 40 retailers. The developer has signed one retail tenant in the 909 Rose building, a 3,600 deal with the founders of fast-casual chain Cava to open a full-service Greek restaurant.

Pike & Rose will also soon welcome Bark Social, a dog-friendly outdoor coffee shop and beer garden that will operate on one of the future development lots. Wood said the nearby restaurants, shops and park areas are a big selling point for prospective office tenants.

The fitness center in the 909 Rose office building.

In addition to the rooftop space, the building's amenities include a fitness center, a bike storage room and showering facilities. It has a parking garage that gives tenants three spaces per 1K SF.

JLL's Bernie McCarthy, Andrew Masters and Danny Sheridan are representing the landlord in leasing the building.