Leases  ·  Office

Lobbying and Policy Tenants Take 39K SF Office Near Capitol Hill

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The office market in Washington, D.C., isn’t dead just yet — at least in buildings near Capitol Hill. 

Real estate Investment and management firm Jamestown has inked two new leases at America’s Square, a 10-story office complex along New Jersey Avenue near the U.S. Capitol.

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Lobbying and trade group American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) signed for about 27,000 square feet, encompassing the entire top floor, while clean energy policy nonprofit ClearPath signed for about 12,000 square feet. 

“[America’s Square] is a special place for tenants to engage with the hill, particularly in governing affairs and policy making,” Mark Witschorik, Jamestown’s head of portfolio management for North America, told Commercial Observer. “This asset is one where people come together and make connections with policymakers on public initiatives, and the size of these leases are reflective of that.” 

Jamestown was represented by CBRE (CBRE) in the deal, while  ACLI was represented by Cushman & Wakefield (CWK), though financial terms of the leases were not disclosed. 

The complex is split into two connected buildings; 51 Louisiana Avenue NW, built in 1935, and 300 New Jersey Avenue NW, built nearly 75 years later in 2009. Other tenants at the property include the D.C. offices of Comcast and the headquarters of multinational law firm Jones Day

Jamestown, based in Atlanta, has a global portfolio currently worth some $11.6 billion, according to the company. Even still, securing two new large leases in the District remains quite rare these days, with the vacancy rate in Downtown D.C. reaching nearly 22 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, according to CBRE. Aware of the struggles in attracting tenants, the city announced earlier this month that it would begin offering millions of dollars in tax breaks for office-to-residential conversion projects in the hope of attracting more residents to otherwise empty buildings. 

Meanwhile, a partnership between Blackstone and PIMCO-owned Columbia Property Trust recently sold the 690,000-square-foot Market Square office complex to PRP Real Estate Investment for $323 million. The sale of the property, also near the Capitol, is the largest office deal in D.C. so far this year, surpassing last year’s high-water mark of Kaiser Permanente’s acquisition of Station Place III for $198 million. 

Nick Trombola can be reached at NTrombola@commercialobserver.com.