- The Washington Times - Monday, October 22, 2001


Tenants are lining up in Arlington to replace Gannett Co., which is expected to complete its move from Rosslyn to McLean next month.

The media giant and its national newspaper, USA Today, will leave behind about 600,000 square feet in the twin 31-story office towers in Rosslyn they have occupied since 1982. The move to McLean began this month and is scheduled to be completed Nov. 16, a Gannett spokeswoman says.

Roughly half of Gannett's old space has already been leased, according to CB Richard Ellis, the brokerage that handles leasing for the landmark Twin Towers complex.

The firm says the U.S. Department of Labor will lease 81,300 square feet, nonprofit think tank SRI International will lease 50,000 square feet, defense contractor Northrop Grumman will lease 19,102 square feet and insurance-and-investment firm ESI will lease 11,054 square feet in the towers.

Also, Washington's ABC television affiliate, WJLA-TV Channel 7, will lease an additional 27,153 square feet, CB Richard Ellis says. The station announced a 15-year lease for 57,000 square feet in April.

All of WJLA's space will be on the sixth floor and part of the seventh floor at the base of the twin towers.

"The Twin Towers have the best views available in metropolitan Washington, and that attracted a lot of the new activity," says CB Richard Ellis broker Brendan Owen.

The buildings owner, Trison Development, wanted a mix of tenants to divvy up the big block of space Gannett left behind, Mr. Owen says. "You don't want all your eggs in one basket again," he says.

But if a tenant wants to lease a big chunk of the remaining space, Mr. Owen says Trison will allow that company to erect a big sign on the towers, as Gannett did with its USA Today logo.

In the first tower, floors 29 through 31 remain open and floors 10 through 21 are open in the second tower, Mr. Owen says.

WJLA is currently based in the Intelsat building at 3007 Tilden St. NW, its home for about 13 years. The station says it hopes to incorporate some of its new home's sweeping views of the Potomac River and Washington's monuments into the design of its new news sets.

"A lot of the plans are still in flux, but that's one thing we're trying to accomplish," says Chris Pike, WJLA's president and general manager.

The station and its 200 employees are scheduled to move in next year.

Four other brokerages worked on the new Twin Towers leases: Cresa Partners, Grubb & Ellis, Julien J. Studley and Spaulding & Slye.

Changing lanes

The Arlington County Board has approved lane changes for Crystal City and 18th Street, considered a crucial step in the Charles E. Smith Cos. plan to redevelop the area.

The plan approved Oct. 13 will create two-way traffic on both streets. The changes will take effect in early 2003.

The Smith Cos., which own most of the real estate in Crystal City, recently embarked on a $40 million plan to build more street-level retail in the neighborhood. The lane changes are crucial to creating a pedestrian-friendly environment, the company says.

In other news

Investment bank Carlyle Group renewed its lease for 129,000 square feet at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Carlyle will continue to occupy the entire second and third floors in the building, which is owned by the California Public Employees' Retirement System and Gerald Hines Interests. CB Richard Ellis brokered the lease renewal.

• Phoenix International, a company that handles underwater search-and-recovery operations, will consolidate offices in Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia into a single headquarters at 6340 Columbia Park Road in Landover. Phoenix is leasing 39,400 square feet. Brokerages KLNB and Transwestern arranged the deal.

• Studios Architecture, a design firm in the District, is part of the team the Defense Department has hired to renovate the Pentagon. The department is proceeding with the renovation, which began several years before the Sept. 11 terrorist attack that damaged one section of the building.

• Chris Baker can be reached at 202/636-3139 or [email protected]

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