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Roadside Moving HQ To Upper NW As It Looks To Bring Companies To Fannie Mae Redevelopment

A rendering of City Ridge, Roadside's redevelopment of the former Fannie Mae headquarters at 3900 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

Roadside Development is shifting its main office from Downtown D.C. to upper Northwest, and it hopes other companies will follow suit. 

The developer leased 10K SF at 3939 Wisconsin Ave. NW, directly across the street from its major redevelopment of the former Fannie Mae headquarters, Roadside's Richard Lake tells Bisnow.

Roadside has retained Transwestern to lease the office space at its development, branded as City Ridge. The project broke ground in December and will be anchored by the District's first Wegmans grocery store. 

About 60K SF of City Ridge's office space will be on the top three floors of a newly constructed building. Roadside recently leased 30K SF on the lower floors to a fitness retailer, Lake said, but declined to reveal which one. The building will also include a rooftop pool and event space. 

Transwestern is marketing another 100K SF of office space in the historic Fannie Mae building, above the space Wegmans will occupy. Lake said Roadside has considered hospitality or educational use for the space, but it decided to first gauge the market for office tenants. 

"We've already gotten a lot of interest, and I think that quite frankly, the building is so unique," Lake said. "You have a mostly column-free building with big windows and 14- to 15-foot slab-to-slab heights. You've got something that doesn't exist in the city."

Transwestern's George Vogelei is managing the office leasing along with Ryan Ferguson, Scott Federoff, Erin Kurucza and Heather Nevin. Vogelei said he thinks the project could appeal to associations, technology companies and other users looking for a mixed-use environment outside of the traditional downtown office core. 

"It's convenient for everybody that might be located outside of D.C. and doesn't want to drive all the way in," Vogelei said. "It's about recruiting talent, and we think this site gives companies the opportunity to have a unique space that will help them recruit and retain people." 

Wegmans plans a 2022 opening for its 80K SF grocery store, a deal announced in 2017. The full 10-acre, $640M City Ridge development will feature eight new buildings in addition to the redeveloped Fannie Mae building. It will have 652 residential units, 153K SF of retail space, 60K SF of new office and the 100K SF of redeveloped space that could be office or hotel. 

Roadside has a large portfolio of completed office, residential and retail projects, including City Market at O in Shaw. The developer made the decision to move out of its Central Business District office at 1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW.

It will move into the first floor of another former Fannie Mae property across the street from City Ridge and next to the Sidwell Friends School. The private school bought the 3939 Wisconsin Ave. NW office building for $8.2M in 2016. Lake said Roadside would likely shift its office to the City Ridge project if there is space remaining available after it delivers. 

"If we lease everything, we have to figure out where we go next," Lake said. "I've been downtown for 35 years. To me, this could be a unique place to put our flag down."

Lake will discuss the City Ridge project May 8 at Bisnow's Washington D.C. State of the Market