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Metro Plans New Office Building At Urban Atlantic's New Carrollton Development

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Urban Atlantic New Carrollton
A rendering of Urban Atlantic's New Carrollton Metro development

D.C.'s transit agency is planning to occupy a newly constructed office building in Prince George's County, the latest project in its regional consolidation effort. 

WMATA announced Thursday it plans to occupy a new office building next to the New Carrollton Metro station. The building will be part of the 2.5M SF development on Metro-owned land that the agency in 2016 selected Urban Atlantic to build. 

Metro will occupy a full building directly in front of the southern entrance to the station that will be between 275K and 300K SF, WMATA Vice President of Real Estate and Parking Nina Albert told Bisnow.

It will be one of three office buildings totaling 1.1M SF at the New Carrollton development, including a 200K SF Kaiser Permanente-anchored building that broke ground in October 2017. The project is also slated to include 1.3M SF of residential space, 150K SF of retail and a hotel. 

"We determined to select the joint development property in large part because they're committing to delivering, in addition to our office building, a hotel and a multifamily building," Albert said. "It will be a true neighborhood that will evolve and be catalyzed as a result of our office building."

Kaiser Permanente has already moved 1,000 employees into its new office building, Urban Atlantic Managing Director Vicki Davis said, and she said the addition of Metro employees will spur enough activity to move forward with some of the project's multifamily buildings.  

"It will spur additional development," Davis said. "It's part of the momentum to create a sense of place here, which is really important." 

The deal to establish a Metro office hub also represents a big win for Prince George's County, Davis said. 

"It's a huge stimulus to the county," Davis said. "This is proof that if a county takes leadership, and puts in the right zoning and process and systems in place, that it can really spur economic development." 

The Maryland announcement also came with confirmation of Metro's plans for a new Virginia office building, which were revealed last week in a planning submission. The agency is planning a 297K SF building on Metro-owned land at 2395 Mill Road in Alexandria. Albert said it did not go into the process knowing it would build both offices on Metro-owned land, but it ultimately helped the agency save money. 

"The economics spoke for themselves and ultimately it made the most sense to use our own property," Albert said. "Both of these locations serve us well from an operational perspective and provide a regional presence, and the fact that they're on Metro land really helped the entire strategy."

The new suburban office plans follow Metro's October announcement that it plans to move its headquarters from Chinatown to L'Enfant Plaza. For that project, it is acquiring and renovating an existing office building at 300 Seventh St. SW.

Metro plans to occupy all three of the buildings by 2022, Albert said. It is also seeking developers to take control of its current headquarters property, the Jackson Graham Building, and redevelop the site under a long-term ground lease. The major real estate moves come as part of an office consolidation strategy, which the agency has pursued with the help of JLL, that aims to save $130M over the next 20 years. 

"All that savings just goes straight back into the system and meeting our core mission, which is providing transit for this region," Albert said. 

UPDATE, APRIL 26, 1:50 P.M. ET: This story has been updated to include comments from Urban Atlantic Managing Director Vicki Davis.