Thursday, October 30, 2008

L is for Lease

More office development has arrived in the corridors of power (aka the Downtown Business Improvement District). DRI Development has brought an 11-story, 170,000 square foot building to 1331 L Street NW, only five blocks from the White House. While the building primarily serves as the new headquarters of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the SmithGroup-designed, glass-faced project also has 11,000 square feet of retail spaceRetail broker Alex Walker DC, property for lease on the block for would-be tenants.

The project is energy-efficient all the way - from the LEED gold certification (a rarity for District office space) to the "hybrid vehicle preference" parking spaces. The glass facade ostensibly admits the maximum possible amount of natural light and saves on energy costs. (Although admittedly, five high speed elevators don't sound like too “green” of a luxury). The facility’s amenities include a ground-floor fitness center, a landscaped rear court, a private rooftop terrace and "a crystalline glass tower element" over the building’s primary entrance.

Transwestern real estate brokerage DC, Alex WalkerOnce the building was completed last spring, it sold to MBA - who now occupy only a third (approximately 68,000 square feet) of their latest acquisition. The rest -both retail and office – are being brokered by Transwestern, the parent company of DRI. A Transwestern retail leasing agent, Alex Walker, says “a restaurant and possibly a cafĂ©” are planned for the site, but a timeline for such developments is still up in air. With the market still in what is best described as “rough shape,” this could be opportunity to snatch up space in a prime downtown parcel that still has that new development smell. That is, if you don’t mind sharing an office with the same guys who milk you for mortgage payments every month. High speed or not, that could be an awkward elevator ride.


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