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Triple Net Treasure

Washington DC Retail

Urban retail is helping drive the vibrancy of DC's neighborhoods. And the long-term net leases included in many of them have out-of-town investors clamoring for any piece of the asset class they can find.

Andrew Fallon and Rick Fernandez of Calkain Urban Investment Advisors just brokered the $7.7M ($850/SF) sale of 1901 14th St, which houses one of hip pizza concept Matchbox's many spots, and where they were snapped on Friday. Andrew tells us that having a stable tenant like Matchbox is key to most single-tenant net-lease deals. That, along with the building's ultra hot location, drew NYC-based buyer Sivan Properties to JBG's 9,000 SF building. And while many buyers prefer national credit tenants when buying net-lease, an established regional tenant with strong operations like Matchbox can also attract big numbers, Rick says.

Here's the Starbucks building on Connecticut Avenue in Dupont Circle, which Norfolk-based Harbor Group International paid $16.2M for earlier this year. And over in Tysons, the Rappaport Cos, in partnership with a Middle Eastern investor, dropped almost $25M for a net-leased CVS on Leesburg Pike. The high prices locally are a function of simple supply-and-demand fundamentals. "There is a limited supply of available property and even less of real quality in this market," Rick says.

Above, the Tysons CVS. Calkain says the $24.7M sale price was the highest ever for a CVS in the US. So for those of you unfamiliar, what exactly is a net lease? Very common in the retail world (but also seen in office and other asset classes), it's an agreement where the tenant is responsible for most or all expenses in a building, in addition to paying rent. The oft-mentioned triple-net lease is one in which the tenant pays all three major expenses—taxes, insurance, and common area maintenance. (The rare quadruple net lease is when the tenant also picks up everyone's bar tab.)