Discovery Sells Md. HQ, Signs Lease for Fraction of the Space Nearby
Nine months after announcing its relocation to New York City, Discovery Communications has sold its 548,953-square-foot One Discovery Place office building in Silver Spring, Md. and signed a lease for a smaller hub nearby at 8403 Colesville Road, according to a Discovery release.
On Sept. 5, Discovery sold its One Discovery Place headquarters to Potomac, Md.-based real estate development company Foulger-Pratt and New York City-based private investment firm Cerebus Capital Management. The companies did not disclose the sale price, which according to the Washington Business Journal, is $70 million.
“When the opportunity to purchase such an iconic, centrally located building in downtown Silver Spring became available earlier this year, we knew this was an investment we could not pass up,” Foulger-Pratt CEO Cameron Pratt said in a prepared statement.
Pratt said that renovation plans include updates to the exterior facade, streetscape and amenity spaces.
Bill Prutting and Steve Collins of JLL, who did not return Commercial Observer’s request for comment, represented Discovery in the sale, according to the release. Foulger-Pratt was not represented by a brokerage, according to a JLL spokesperson.
JLL is also leasing the building, which will become available in the second quarter of 2019. “We are utilizing all JLL resources to market to tenants across the Washington Metropolitan Area and to nationally based Fortune 500 companies, Amanda Davis, a senior vice president at JLL, told Commercial Observer. “These types of tenants are seeking an opportunity to locate in a [central business district] with one of the region’s most connected transportation systems and in an iconic building that rivals some of the region’s newest construction.”
About three blocks away from its former headquarters, Discovery inked a deal to lease a 60,000-square-foot space with Canada-based real estate developer Brookfield (BN) Properties at Silver Spring Metro Plaza for its new Maryland hub, which will house select network, support and government relations affairs that are based in the D.C. region, per the Discovery release.
“Discovery was founded in Maryland and since 1991 has been part of the Montgomery County community, so the decision to move the global headquarters is one that was not made lightly,” David Leavy, Discovery’s chief communications officer, said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to be able to keep a presence in Silver Spring to continue to support and draw from the robust Maryland and D.C.-area production community that has developed alongside Discovery over the past 35 years.”
Discovery’s Silver Spring Metro Plaza lease is for 11 years and nine months, per a Brookfield spokesman, who declined to provide the asking rents. The Discovery lease brings the 650,000 square feet of office space at the mall to about 90 percent leased.
“Discovery has long been an engine and pillar of the Silver Spring community, and Brookfield Properties is thrilled to welcome them to the Silver Spring Metro Plaza,” Andy Jones, a vice president of leasing, said in a prepared a statement.
Discovery was represented by JLL in the deal, according to the press release, which did not name the JLL agents. Brookfield was not represented by a broker.
In June, Discovery signed a deal for roughly 360,000 square feet of office space for its new corporate headquarters at 230 Park Avenue South in New York City’s Flatiron District, as CO previously reported.