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Spectrum Management Buys Brookland Site To Build New Headquarters

The site at Ninth and Kearny streets NE where Spectrum plans to build its new office

Spectrum Management, a real estate development and services company based on Capitol Hill, is building a new headquarters for itself in Brookland

The firm last month acquired the vacant lot at Ninth and Kearny streets NE for $1.35M from Inle Development and plans to build a three-story, 6K SF office building. 

When George Simpson founded Spectrum Management over 15 years ago, he was the lone employee and managed a portfolio of property from the driver's seat of his truck. The company now employs over 100 people and its services include real estate development, construction management and facilities management. The company has worked on projects such as Capitol Crossing and Capitol Vista. 

Spectrum's roughly 20 administrative staff members are currently spread between an office at 1229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE and two smaller Capitol Hill offices. It plans to move all of those employees to the new Brookland office, which will have a larger footprint than the three combined spaces. 

It plans to build a one-level parking garage with 12 spaces beneath two levels of office. Simpson expects the total project, including the acquisition, to cost about $4.3M. It is working with an architect to design the building and hopes to have it completed in about two years. 

The site is about three blocks from the Brookland-CUA Metro station and two blocks from 12th Street, an increasingly active retail corridor. Simpson said it made more sense financially to build a new office in the Northeast D.C. neighborhood rather than lease or buy space downtown. 

"It's difficult to find land," Simpson said. "I did the numbers and if we're going to spend top dollar, we might as well find something and build it. Our intention is to make that our home." 

Spectrum's plan fits within the site's existing zoning, so it will not have to file a planned-unit development application and risk being delayed by appeals, which have stalled Menkiti Group's nearby multifamily project for several years. 

"I would never do that, because I look at what's going on over there, the writing is on the wall and they're stopping development," Simpson said. "Our building is small enough that hopefully we don't get a lot of negative feedback."