Universal Ballet Puts Historic Kirov Academy Building on the DC Market


The Universal Ballet Foundation, which shut down its Washington, D.C., nonprofit academy earlier this year due to financial hardships, has put its historic property on the market.

The owners have enlisted CBRE (CBRE) to market the 49,952-square-foot Kirov Academy, a former monastery building on 2.15 acres in D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood.

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CBRE did not disclose an asking price, noting it will ask interested parties for offers. Currently, the land is zoned RA-1, allowing for urban residential development, so interest is expected to be great. 

The private classical ballet school was founded in 1990 by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Last fall, a former bookkeeper was sentenced for stealing more than $1.5 million over the course of nine months in 2018, and the pandemic only added to the organization’s financial problems over the last few years.

The building consists of four ballet studios, dorm rooms, studio space, an industrial kitchen, student lounge, administrative offices and a concert hall.

“The site has so many possibilities: We envision the site to continue being an educational facility because of the growing need for university expansions, charter schools, and other education uses, although the possibilities for this site are endless,” Michael Zacharia, executive vice president at CBRE, told Commercial Observer. “With that said, we welcome both investors and owner-user buyers—whether that be for a new school, retail or a redevelopment, or expansion to mixed use apartments, condos, or office units.”

It is located near five hospitals, multiple universities and dense residential developments and also offers convenient access to I-395, I-495 and New Hampshire Avenue.

CBRE’s Zacharia and Reilly Hudson are marketing the property.

Requests for comment from the Universal Ballet Foundation were not immediately returned.

 Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.