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New Activity Brings Uline Arena's Office Space Close To Two-Thirds Leased

The entrance to Uline Arena, with Antunovich Associates' new office on the right

The retail space at the redeveloped Uline Arena has been open for nearly two years, with the flagship REI opening in October 2016, but companies are now beginning to fill out the project's office space. 

Douglas Development, working with JLL, has signed multiple office leases in recent months and has two deals in negotiation that could close in the coming weeks, JLL's Evan Behr said. The deals could bring the project's 170K SF of office space to about 63% leased, with just the top floor and one additional spec suite remaining vacant. 

The redevelopment of the historic arena, sitting next to the NoMa Metro station at 1140 Third St. NE, is one of the first office projects in the growing neighborhood east of the train tracks that brokers see as the next frontier of the city's office market. Its leasing performance could signal the viability of future projects in the area, including a 225K SF office building from Carr Properties and another 214K SF of office space from Edens at Union Market

The most recent tenant to sign onto Uline was Goodwill of Greater Washington, which leased roughly 24K SF on the third floor. Architecture firm Antunovich Associates plans to move in October into its 9K SF of ground-floor space fronting Third Street. Additional leases signed recently include Proof Strategies, Exp, Expression Networks and College Summit. Coworking provider Spaces signed on in 2016 to take 44K SF on the project's second floor, and its space is now nearly 90% occupied. 

The project has also landed additional retail tenants, including Red Bear Brewing, La Colombe Coffee Roasters and fitness studio Cyclebar. 

The fourth floor office space at Uline Arena

Much of the remaining office space is on the arena's fourth floor, the top level where the curved roof of the building once known as the Washington Coliseum brings the ceiling heights as high as 18 feet. The 57K SF floor is fully available, and Douglas has hoped to lease it to one large user, but may divide it up into built-out spec suites if a tenant doesn't commit soon. 

The fourth floor space includes floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the NoMa-Union Market neighborhood. It has been in the running for multiple large companies including Yelp, Behr said, which ultimately signed on at Chinatown's Terrell Place for its new D.C. office. The leasing team is still in talks with other companies and Behr is optimistic they could sign a full-floor tenant. 

"We've had strong interest and we're very close with a couple groups," Behr said.

The available spec suite at Uline Arena

The leasing team built out some of the available blocks into spec suites, a growing trend in the D.C. market that landlords have used to help lease vacant space. Just one of those spec suites remains available, a 6,734 SF space on the third floor. 

Construction is still underway on some of the common amenity spaces for Uline's office tenants. A shared conference room on the third floor will have interchangeable seating arrangements, with the largest accommodating 72 people. The rooftop terrace will have a kitchen area and seating. The 3K SF fitness center, already completed, has a door that opens out into the project's second-floor courtyard.