Contact Us

New Owner Aims To Bring Rare Historic Building In Heart Of Navy Yard ‘Back To Life’

For years, Navy Yard residents, workers and visitors have peered into the broken windows of the historic, abandoned red brick industrial building sitting on prime land at 200 Tingey St. SE, wondering about the future of this forgotten property in the heart of the fastest-developing neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

A former electric substation built in 1919, according to historic preservation documents, the dirt-floor property has sat vacant for years. As new office buildings, apartments and hotels have sprung up around it, a lack of stable ownership has kept it a relic of the area's shipbuilding history. 

"I get phone calls all the time from neighbors who say, ‘I’m not interested in leasing it, but I’m curious who’s going in and when can I visit?’" Gary Taubin, a vice president with CBRE who is marketing the property, told Bisnow during a tour of the building Wednesday. 

The building at 200 Tingey St. SE

Taubin's phone number, along with that of his partner in marketing the property, Kelly Silverman, has long been plastered on a "for sale or lease sign" adorning the building. The sign was swapped out with a new one this summer after it finally found a buyer.

Anfield Holdings purchased the two-parcel property for over $8M earlier this year. The site also includes the 22K SF grass and brick pedestrian plaza at the corner of Tingey and Canal streets.

Michael Goldman, a partner with Anfield, is moving forward with renovation plans for the space and hopes to sign a tenant within the next year. 

"We’re full throttle on this," Goldman said. "Over the next 12 to 14 months, you’re going to see a lot of work on this site."

The deal closed after the former owner, a fund managed by JBG Smith, had spent roughly two years looking for a buyer or tenant willing to fix up the space. 

200 Tingey had long been attached to the 1.5M SF Department of Transportation headquarters directly to its north. But when the General Services Administration decided to exercise its option to buy the headquarters for about $760M in 2019, it declined to acquire what has historically been known as Building 170.

An aerial view of the Washington Navy Yard looking eastward circa 1977

That meant JBG Smith had more certainty about the building's future when the deal closed with the GSA in early March 2020. Then the pandemic hit, keeping it frozen in time amid broader uncertainty in the region.

Goldman said acquiring the property was the "right opportunity at the right time," and he's determined to get it fixed up and open to the community.

"We feel honored to be next in line with JBG," Goldman said. "I think we have an obligation to do what we're gonna do here."

The property's ground floor is about 8K SF, with the ability to construct a second floor, a mezzanine and additional basement space, bringing the potential square footage up to 23K SF.

200 Tingey is eligible for a broad range of uses thanks to an already-completed rezoning process. Marketing materials for the property include renderings for a brewery, a car showroom or multitenant restaurant space.

Goldman said he's willing to get creative with the site, and the team behind the property said there is even the possibility for a flagship store if the right high-dollar brand comes along.

Interior of 200 Tingey St. SE, facing Tingey Plaza and Canal Street

"Who would have thought that Apple was going to occupy Carnegie Library 15 years ago?" Goldman said. "What we’re looking for is creativity, vision, to create and validate the iconic nature of the building."

Taubin and Silverman have been marketing the property since it was owned by JBG, and the team was retained by Goldman when he acquired the site.

The brokers said they are still speaking with a broad range of interested parties. They believe the space could work with a large restaurant group looking to operate multiple concepts or an automaker like Rivian or Tesla looking to show off its latest vehicles just steps from the DOT headquarters.

They expect 200 Tingey's proximity to the Navy Yard Metro station, in the middle of The Yards and its multifamily, office, hotels and retail — to say nothing its two-block walk to Nationals Park — to be attractive enough to overcome the sticker shock that comes with renovating a historic property. 

"We're really sitting on the 50-yard line" of the neighborhood, Silverman said. "Throw a dart in the center of the map and that's us."

There's plenty of work to be done while the brokers search for a tenant. Goldman said there may be 1,000 glass panes in the building's windows, most of which will need to be replaced with period-appropriate materials.

Interior of the historic electric substation at 200 Tingey St. SE

"We believe this property is going to be flooded with light," Goldman said.

The new owner is also doing soil testing and additional remediation work to get the property ready for a tenant. Anfield secured a $14M loan for acquisition and redevelopment, CoStar reported, and Goldman said he's hopeful they can secure a tenant before renovations are complete in order to ensure a more custom build-out.

Goldman has some experience with retail in Navy Yard. He acquired the small, vacant lot at 1299 First St. SE, across from the ballpark, for $3.25M in 2019 and set about attracting tenants for the low-profile retail property.

Work there continued during the pandemic, and today the property is home to Takoda Navy Yard, which opened in June, and a TD Bank branch.

He expects the process to be similar at Building 170, if not at a quicker pace. While Goldman said he's open to expanding his retail holdings in Navy Yard down the line, he's happy to have his hands full with 200 Tingey today.

"I don't think we’d be lucky enough or fortunate enough to replicate this opportunity," Goldman said. "It deserves to be brought back to life."

CORRECTION, SEPT. 30, 5:20 P.M. ET: Following publication, Goldman confirmed there are multiple partners at Anfield involved in the acquisition of 200 Tingey. This story has been updated.