- The Washington Times - Monday, July 30, 2001

Property Lines

A top Washington law firm and one of the region's leading real estate brokerages said last week they will open offices in Towers Crescent, a new project designed to create a "downtown" in Tysons Corner.
The Venable law firm will lease 49,539 square feet at 8010 Towers Crescent Drive, a five-story building with 100,000 square feet. Grubb & Ellis, the real estate brokerage, will take 13,622 square feet at the building next door, which will have nine stories and 200,000 square feet.
The firms join accounting firm Andersen and technology company Targus Information Corp., which announced leases in the new buildings last year.
Construction on the new buildings began last year. They are scheduled to be completed in October, according to Helen Haerle of Quadrangle, the Washington firm developing the property.
The new buildings will be near the 17-story Tower Building, a 15-year-old landmark in Vienna's section of Tysons Corner. The plans for Towers Crescent call for six buildings with 1.4 million square feet of offices, shops and restaurants.
The project will give Tysons Corner a downtown feel, Ms. Haerle says.
"This is a highly unusual project for Tysons Corner. You're going to be able to park your car in the morning and not have to get back in it until you go home at night. Whatever you need during the day, you'll be able to walk to it," she says.
Now that Quadrangle has secured tenants for the office space in Towers Crescent, it will turn its attention to finding retailers and restaurants for the complex. The goal is to bring "everything from delis to ethnic restaurants to white linen restaurants," Ms. Haerle says.
The downtown atmosphere that Quadrangle promises made Towers Crescent attractive to Venable, according to broker Tony Gould of Insignia/ESG, who helped arrange the law firm's new lease.
Venable now leases about 25,000 square feet at 2010 Corporate Ridge in McLean, but wanted to expand, Mr. Gould says. The firm considered moving to Reston, but decided it wanted to be part of the unique Towers Crescent project, he says.
Towers Crescent is one of the first efforts to bring a downtown to Tysons Corner, but it may not be the last.
Andres Duany, the famed urban planner who designed the Kentlands neighborhood in Gaithersburg and the Florida community that was used as the setting for the movie "The Truman Show," has proposed an urban village in McLean's section of Tysons Corner. Some county officials have said they won't support that project because it would create too much traffic.

In other news

A private partnership sold 1413 K St. NW to investor Dave Schaeffer for $2.83 million. The building, completed in 1954, has 30,714 square feet. Local brokerage Advantis Real Estate Services arranged the deal.
New York real estate investment firm Intertech Corp. has sold a 24-acre parcel in Ashburn, Va., to Merritt Properties of Baltimore for $2 million. Merritt has started construction on a group of four buildings with 200,000 square feet, which can be used as offices or warehouse space. The first 50,000-square-foot building is scheduled to be finished in December.
Plateau Systems, a Fairfax software company, has leased 20,000 square feet on the seventh floor of Ballston Towers at 671 N. Glebe Road in Arlington. The company, which develops employee training software for businesses and nonprofits, will house about 95 workers in the space.
Developers John Akridge Cos. and the Holladay Corp. broke ground last week on the Harford, an office-and-apartment complex in the Rosslyn section of Arlington. The project will include 212,000 square feet of offices and shops and 70 condominiums. It is scheduled for completion by December 2002.
MIE Properties of Baltimore has started building its sixth business park near Baltimore-Washington International Airport. BWI Technology Park is slated to have 14 buildings with 600,000 square feet of office and warehouse space. Construction is under way on the first building, which will have 72,240 square feet.
The Van Metre Cos., a Washington developer, has started construction on a 757-unit apartment complex at the intersection of Sunrise Valley Drive and Centreville Road in Herndon. The project is two miles from Dulles International Airport.
Chris Baker can be reached at 202/636-3139 or cbaker@washingtontimes.com.

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