A year after acquiring the 185,000 SF office building at 1775 Eye Street, NW in Washington, DC’s central business district, Washington REIT (NYSE:WRE) has completed an extensive $4.2 million renovation and executed leases for 79,000 SF of space, bringing the building to 98 percent leased status.
The latest leases to be signed were with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) for approximately 17,000 SF and the National Multifamily Housing Council for approximately 11,000 SF.
“This building was only 52 percent leased when we contracted to acquire it in April of 2014 – a figure that increased to 62 percent when we closed on the acquisition in May of 2014,” said Thomas Q. Bakke, Executive Vice President Chief Operating Officer of Washington REIT. “Today the building is almost fully leased to a variety of prestigious tenants. We have had multiple prospects bidding for the same space on the top floor and the building’s value has now substantially increased since we acquired it last year.”
“This asset enjoys an irreplaceable location in the heart of the central business district, just across the street from the Farragut West Metro station and two blocks from the Farragut North station,” said Mandi L. Wedin, Senior Director of Asset Management at Washington REIT. “Given this superb location, it had been under-marketed, and we saw the potential to create significant value through leasing. While the building had undergone a major renovation in 1997, the last round of improvements has greatly increased its appeal to tenants.”
Washington REIT’s renovation program, which was completed ahead of schedule, focused on the building entrance and lobby. Bognet Construction was responsible for the construction management and RTKL was the architect. RTKL’s design connects the lobby with the street outside by extending the exterior canopy into the lobby, and by replacing the prior “storefront” entry with a frameless glass system that removes all visual barriers between the lobby and the outside, while allowing a dramatic increase in natural light.
In addition to renovating the entryway, lobby, and other common areas, Washington REIT has revamped the interior of its own new 17,000 SF headquarters space on the building’s 10th floor. “Our dynamic downtown headquarters location places us at the epicenter of the industry’s leadership in our region,” added Bakke. “Furthermore, it better serves both our tenants and our properties, and aligns with our strategy to own high-quality, well-located urban and transit-linked assets.”
Washington REIT’s dramatically modern space was designed to help the company grow its culture alongside its business. The reception area features a giant, moveable closet that allows the area to open for special events. A dynamic footprint provides employees with numerous working options, including bar-height benching, cushions for impromptu workstation tag-ups, meeting coves for quiet collaboration, and phone booths for private conversations. The unique wayfinding system features varied color schemes to identify different work areas.