- The Washington Times - Monday, October 8, 2001

Office tenants and landlords will work together to secure their buildings in the wake of the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon, real estate brokers predict.

In the past, landlords have taken care of securing lobbies, parking garages and other "common" areas in buildings, and tenants have handled security in their offices.

"Now, I think everybody has a vested interest in working together to protect their workplaces after Sept. 11," says Jim Cahill, vice president of the Staubach Co., a national brokerage with offices in Vienna and Bethesda.

Building Owners and Managers Association International, a trade group for landlords, says owners and tenants are likely to enforce stricter rules on how mail and packages are delivered to buildings, how visitors enter buildings and how parking garages are secured.

"A lot of it comes down to this: How much are tenants willing to give up?" says Sherwood Johnston III, a CarrAmerica Realty executive and president of the association.

Mr. Cahill says tenants will also take a harder look at security outside their own offices. Some tenants might not want to move to a neighborhood if it is already home to a business or building that could be a target for attack, he says.

"That will be challenging, because real estate is a dynamic business. Tenants move in and out all the time. Your neighbors are constantly changing," he says.

Mr. Johnston's group will hold an "audio conference" on workplace security Friday. The conference, which can be accessed only by telephone, will feature a panel discussion with security company executives and the security directors from property companies Tishman Speyer and TrizecHahn.

Another trade group, the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, has published an "e-book" on its Web site for members who want to learn more about setting up a crisis-management plan for their buildings.

Tenants and landlords have a lot of questions after Sept. 11, but few concrete answers, Mr. Cahill says. "We're only a couple of weeks into this thing. We'll see it play out over a long period," he says.

Big deals

Beacon Capital Partners has hired Trammell Crow Co. to manage and handle leasing at Canal Center Plaza, five office buildings with 590,000 square feet in Old Town Alexandria.

In September, Equity Office Properties, a Chicago real estate investment trust, sold three of the buildings to Boston-based Beacon for $58.5 million. Trammell arranged the sale.

Beacon has also hired Trammell to handle leasing at Beaumeade Technology Campus, an office park in Sterling, Va., with 132,240 square feet.

Novak Biddle moving

Venture capital group Novak Biddle Venture Partners will move from McLean to Bethesda in mid-November.

The company has signed a five-year lease for 6,500 square feet at the new Chevy Chase Bank headquarters at 7501 Wisconsin Ave. It is currently based at 1750 Tysons Blvd., where it opened in 1997.

The company wanted to move because most of its top executives live in Maryland, according Jack Biddle, a founding partner. Novak Biddle has 10 employees, he says.

Brokerage Spaulding & Slye Colliers helped arrange the deal.

In other news

Famed New York architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designers of some of the world's tallest buildings, including the Sears Tower in Chicago will design the new Census Bureau headquarters in Suitland. The $306 million project at the corner of Suitland and Silver Hill roads will have 771,000 square feet and 3,100 parking spaces.

• Xerox has renewed its 22,556-square-foot lease at 8180 Greensboro Drive in McLean. The company occupies the sixth floor in the building in Greensboro Park, where Xerox has been a tenant since 1980. Brokerages Julien J. Studley and Equis arranged the deal.

• DPR Construction, a Falls Church company, will renovate 2100 M St. NW, an office building owned by the Bernstein Cos. and Lerner Enterprises. DPR will also renovate a 1,200-square-foot executive office area for the Urban Institute, one of the building's tenants. In addition, DPR is helping build an 8,500-square-foot breast cancer center at Sibley Hospital in the District.

• Chris Baker can be reached at 202/636-3139 or cbaker@washingtontimes.com.

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