Lantian Development has acquired the 204-acre COMSAT campus in Clarksburg, MD for $11.5 million in an all-cash transaction. The seller, LCOR, was represented by Avison Young. John Wang of RE/MAX represented Lantian.
World-renowned Modernist architect Cesar Pelli designed the property’s 496,000 square foot headquarters building. Highly visible from I-270, the building was constructed in 1969 as the research facility for COMSAT Corporation, which was created by an act of Congress in 1962.
As the nation’s satellite communications industry evolved, COMSAT sold its research campus in 1997 in a $46 million sale-leaseback deal.
The property features 3,600 feet of frontage on I-270 in Clarksburg, MD. In addition to the vacant main building, there are three special purpose buildings totaling 36,000 SF. In the decades since COMSAT located in a then-remote area of Montgomery County, the Maryland I-270 corridor has become a major thoroughfare lined with world-class research facilities, educational institutions, Federal laboratories and agencies, technology corporations, and new mixed-use communities.
The new ownership is considering potential uses for the property, possibly including pharmaceutical research. “We are here to contribute to the growth of the Washington region, creating synergy and job opportunities,” said Lantian Development co-founder and CFO Shawn Li. “Over the next five years, we hope to continue to develop projects in this region and expand into other markets as well.”
The COMSAT transaction comes on the heels of Lantian’s August 2015 acquisition of a 31-acre site fronting Shady Grove Road in Rockville, MD, in a joint venture with a Bethesda-based developer, for $50 million. Over the next ten years, Lantian plans to replace the existing commercial office buildings with a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use development including grocery-anchored retail space, offices, a hotel, and housing.
Lantian Development, LLC, headquartered in Bethesda, MD, is a full-service real estate development and investment company. Since entering the Washington, DC metropolitan region market in late 2014, Lantian has acquired multiple commercial and institutional properties and is actively seeking additional acquisition/collaboration opportunities.