Finance  ·  Leases

Crowell & Moring Inks 200K-SF Lease at Former Metro HQ in D.C.

Rockefeller Group and Stonebridge broke ground on the redevelopment Tuesday 


A joint venture between the Rockefeller Group and Stonebridge closed on a 99-year ground lease with Metro to redevelop 600 Fifth Street NW, the 400,000-square-foot former headquarters of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) in Washington, D.C.

The $300 million project has been in the planning stages since 2020. The finished product will be an 11-story, 399,617-square-foot office building with ground-floor retail.

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What’s more, international law firm Crowell & Moring inked a 15-year, 198,877-square-foot lease to anchor half of the new building, taking the top five floors. This is the largest private-sector lease in the District since 2019 and the first to be completed since the redevelopment plans were announced in 2020. 

The groundbreaking took place Tuesday. Metro remains the ground lessor of the Penn Quarter property, and the building is owned by the joint venture per terms of the agreement. This marks the only new office development to break ground in D.C. this year.

“Our comeback is underway and, with the partnership of fantastic employers who continue to create opportunity in our city, we know that our best days downtown are yet to come,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said at the groundbreaking.  

The redevelopment, designed by Pickard Chilton and architect of record Kendall Heaton Associates, will include a three-story addition, a modern façade redesign, rooftop and outdoor terraces and new building systems. Clark Construction serves as general contractor. 

The building is between the Capital One Arena and the National Building Museum, and sits a block from the Gallery Place and Judiciary Square Metro stations. 

The developers obtained equity financing from Taisei USA and Mitsubishi Estate New York. Terms of that financing were not disclosed. 

Crowell & Moring was represented by a JLL team of Tom Doughty, Elizabeth Cooper and Greg McCavera, while CBRE’s Scott Frankel, Carroll Cavanagh, Dimitri Hajimihalis, Emily Eppolito and DJ Callahan represented the landlord. 

JLL’s Bill Prutting and Martine Combal represented Metro in the ground lease transaction, while the joint venture was represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s Bill Collins, Drew Flood, Marshall Scallan and Bindi Shah.

Keith Loria can be reached at