- The Washington Times - Monday, June 3, 2002

The National Association of Realtors will build a new office on Capitol Hill, becoming the latest association to decide it's better to own than rent.
The Chicago-based trade group's board of directors approved a $15 million down payment on the new building, which will be located at 500 New Jersey Ave. NW. The total cost of the project is expected to be $45 million.
"The new NAR building makes a statement about NAR's commitment to participate actively in federal policy-making," says Martin Edwards Jr., the group's president.
The association is locked in a bitter battle in Congress to keep banks from entering the real estate business. The matter is not expected to be resolved until 2003 at the earliest.
The group's new 12-story building will feature 93,000 square feet of rentable space, including 3,100 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. The association will occupy the top four floors, using about 33,000 square feet, and rent the rest to other tenants.
The building will also have a 3,000-square-foot rooftop facility that can be used for receptions. It will also have 72 underground parking spaces.
Construction is expected to begin this fall and be completed by fall 2004.
The association's current Washington office is at 700 11th St. NW. It leases 26,000 square feet in the building and pays about $36 per square foot, for an annual total of $900,000.
Its lease at 700 11th St. NW expires in five years.
The new office will serve as an investment for the group, Mr. Edwards says. The group will generate additional revenues by renting space in the building to other tenants, he says.
The association's $15 million down payment comes from a reserve fund the group established five years ago when it sold property on 14th Street NW. The group has not yet decided how to finance the balance of $30 million to fund the rest of the construction, Mr. Edwards says.
Several other Washington area nonprofits, including the American Association of Medical Colleges and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, have recently elected to build their own headquarters to save money on rent.
The Human Rights Campaign announced plans last fall to purchase an eight-story office building at 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW for $9.8 million.
The group, which currently leases space in downtown Washington, will make the building its new headquarters. HRC previously announced plans to build a headquarters, but said buying an existing building made better financial sense.

Condos planned
Waterford Development will build 80 luxury condominiums on Broad Street in Falls Church, a project the city says is key to reviving the aging corridor.
The Broadway at 502 W. Broad St. will feature ground-floor retail space, underground parking, penthouse apartments, a concierge, a fitness center, library, a clubroom and a conference center.
The condos will have two or three bedrooms and range from 1,200 to 1,600 square feet. Sale prices will be between the low $300,000s and the mid-$500,000s.
Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2003.
The project will be built at the site of the former Adcom building, which was demolished in April.
"We are losing an eyesore and gaining a beautiful new project that will, we hope, be the catalyst for the long-term economic growth," Falls Church Mayor Daniel Gardner said at the groundbreaking for the Broadway.

In other news
Local brokerage Scheer Partners has moved its headquarters from Rockville Pike to a new seven-story office building at 11 N. Washington St. in Rockville. The brokerage will occupy 11,588 square feet on the third floor of the 98,533-square-foot building, which opened in April. Scheer will also be the leasing agent for the project.
Strategic Analysis, an information technology services company, has leased 11,409 square feet in Virginia Square Plaza at 3811 N. Fairfax Drive in Alexandria. New Boston Fund and Meridian own the building. Brokerage Grubb & Ellis helped arrange the lease.
Wisnewski Blair & Associates has leased 18,148 square feet at 44 Canal Center Plaza in Alexandria. Canal Center Properties and Beacon Capital Partners own the property. Brokerage Grubb & Ellis helped arrange the lease.
Cavalier Telephone has leased 10,210 square feet at 200 Fairbrook Drive in Herndon. Brokerage Spaulding & Slye Colliers arranged the deal.

Moving on
This marks my final edition as author of Property Lines.
Later this month, reporter Tim Lemke will become the new commercial real estate columnist for The Washington Times. Mr. Lemke is full of pep and energy, and is looking forward to breaking lots of local real estate news.
In the meantime, I'll continue to cover local media for The Times.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to Property Lines over the years. It was a good ride.

Chris Baker can be reached at 202/636-3139 or cbaker@washingtontimes.com. Tim Lemke can be reached at 202/636-4836 or tlemke@washingtontimes.com.

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