Peter Otteni and Jake Stroman

Peter Otteni and Jake Stroman

Peter Otteni and Jake Stroman

Co-Heads of the Washington Office at Boston Properties

Peter Otteni and Jake Stroman
By June 22, 2021 2:11 PM

In a year that brought the office leasing market across the country to a near-grinding halt, Boston Properties still managed to have a banner season in D.C.

The Boston-based real estate investment trust signed about 2.2 million square feet throughout its roughly 10 million-square-foot, D.C.-area portfolio last year, a marked improvement from the nearly 1.6 million square feet that it signed in 2019.

“Last year was the busiest and the best, by far, in comparison to the past couple of years,” Jake Stroman said. “You sort of scratch your head and wonder how that could be the case.”

But, the answer becomes clear when you look at which tenants were signing the deals, he said. Microsoft took nearly 600,000 square feet, Volkswagen took 196,000 square feet, and defense contractor RTC took 135,000 square feet. And the majority of the deals were centered in Reston, Va., where Boston Properties has been working on a huge office, retail and multifamily development.

“These are well-established, large corporate users that understand the value of the real estate and understand they needed to be where they needed to be,” Stroman said. “They could look past the fact and see that they could get past the pandemic at some point.”

But, it wasn’t just leases that marked a strong year for Boston Properties’ D.C. team; it also made headway on its development projects. That included finishing the 276,000-square-foot, 17FIFTY project at 1750 Presidents Street in Reston, which Leidos Holdings immediately moved into. The 28-story office tower is part of the company’s Reston Town Center development. Boston Properties is also putting the glass on its 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW project in D.C. proper.

“We’ve been really focused on our blocking and tackling in terms of just really executing on those projects,” Peter Otteni said. “Those jobs went on and kept going through the pandemic.”

And, in March, Otteni and Stroman took over as co-leaders of the D.C. office, replacing the retired Peter Johnson, and are now focused on starting work on the next phases of its Reston Town Center project — a hotel and multifamily building — while trying to break into the city’s life sciences market.

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