Science Nonprofit Wins DC Office Building at Foreclosure Auction

Society for Science, the building’s former lender, paid just $10M for the property.

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A science advocacy nonprofit is now the owner of a 91,000-square-foot Washington, D.C., office building that it previously financed.

An affiliate of Society for Science filed a foreclosure notice on 1776 Massachusetts Avenue NW last month, after previous owner ELV Associates defaulted on a $29.1 million loan provided by the nonprofit, according to Business Journals.

SEE ALSO: Arbor Realty Trust Facing Legal Probe Into Lending Practices, Disclosures

Another affiliate of Society for Science then won the building at auction late last week with a bid of $10 million, per Business Journals. That’s just a fraction of the building’s current assessed value of $29.3 million, and far less than the $45.5 million ELV bought it for back in 2012.

It’s unclear how Society for Science became ELV’s lender. Representatives for the nonprofit did not immediately respond to a request for comment. ELV could not immediately be reached.

Yet what is clear is that the default and foreclosure on 1776 Massachusetts is just another in a long string of recent financial distress in the District. 

State Farm Life Insurance got its hands on a 10-story, 123,000-square-foot office building — for which it was also the previous lender — just a few blocks away from the White House with a hefty discount at the building’s foreclosure auction, Commercial Observer reported last week. 

Meanwhile, another 10-story office tower at 1129 20th Street NW, this one owned by Ares Management and Monument Realty, is teetering on the edge of foreclosure. The remaining balance is unclear on a $60.1 million loan issued for the property by Principal Financial Services

Or there’s the Portrait Building at 701 Eighth Street NW, which was handed back to lender Voya Investment Management in lieu of foreclosure in early May. Over $33 million, or more than 81 percent, of the loan borrowed by former owner Clarion Partners was outstanding before it handed over the property. 

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