Leases  ·  Office

Republican Advocacy Nonprofit Renews 47K-SF Lease in Downtown D.C.

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The International Republican Institute (IRI) will keep its presence in the heart of the capital.

The nonprofit advocacy organization has renewed its 47,416-square-foot lease at 1225 I Street NW, across the street from Franklin Park in Downtown Washington, D.C., according to landlord broker Cushman & Wakefield (CWK). Other terms of the lease were not immediately disclosed. It’s unclear when IRI moved into the 12-story building. 

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Kyle McFadden, Eugene Kenney, and John Skolnik of C&W represented landlord Piedmont Office Realty Trust in the deal, while Randolph Harrell, Kevin Howard and Lara Nealon of CBRE (CBRE) represented IRI.

In renewing its entire 47,416-square-foot space, IRI bucked the trend of Downtown D.C. tenants, McFadden said. Over the past two years, tenants in the neighborhood with more than 45,000 square feet of space shrunk by an average of nearly 28 percent when signing a new lease or renewal, according to McFaden.

“IRI defied the norm by committing to a modest expansion as part of their renewal at 1225 I Street NW, offering a glimmer of optimism for comparably positioned assets in the East End,” McFadden said.

IRI’s office renewal in Downtown D.C. was one of the top 10 leases in the District in the first quarter of the year — a list that was dominated by renewals — and McFadden added that it was the only one more than 45,000 square feet signed in D.C.’s East End since the beginning of 2023.  Office leasing activity ticked up slightly to 1.7 million square feet in the first quarter, compared with 1.3 million in the final quarter of 2023, according to a new market report from Savills

Yet conditions are still far from perfect. Availability levels downtown reached a new high of 22.6 percent last quarter, 90 basis points above the same time last year, while overall leasing volume remains well below pre-pandemic levels, per the Savills report. 

The CBRE brokerage team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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