- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 26, 2003

It didn’t take long for Andrew Nathan to jump back into the D.C. real estate market. The former executive for Tishman Speyer Properties in the District founded Meritage Properties in February, and this week, he announced the company’s acquisition of 1411 K St. NW, a 65,000-square-foot building downtown.

The $10.04 million purchase, from RAB Management, is the first for New York-based Meritage.

Mr. Nathan described 1411 K St. as “a hidden gem sitting in the heart of the downtown Washington corridor.”

“[It] presented the chance for us to execute precisely the kind of… strategy that is the cornerstone of the Meritage Properties’ mission.”

That strategy is to buy well-located buildings, upgrade their appearance and facilities, and sell them at a profit. In the case of 1411, Meritage plans to renovate the lobby and construct a new facade on K Street. The building, constructed in 1959, was last renovated in 1990.

It’s no surprise that Mr. Nathan turned to the District for Meritage’s first big deal. During his 16-year stay at Tishman Speyer, he helped to establish the firm’s presence in the Washington area while serving as its chief of acquisitions for the eastern half of the country.

Meritage worked with brokers from Buchanan Partners, a District-based company that has developed more than 2 million square feet of office space in the Washington region.

“We saw this as a unique opportunity to acquire a solid building in a wonderful location,” said Brian Benninghoff, a principal with Buchanan. “We are confident that before the end of the year, the results of our efforts will be apparent and appreciated by both our tenants and our neighbors.”

The building is 97 percent leased.

FBR helps with IPO

Arlington-based Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc. helped manage the initial public offering this week of American Financial Realty Trust, one of the largest IPOs this year.

FBR helped sell 55.95 million shares, which, at $12.50 each, were valued at almost $700 million. Shares of American Financial closed at $14.25 after the IPO Wednesday, and rose an additional 58 cents to close at $14.83 yesterday.

American Financial is a commercial real estate investment trust that specializes in buying office branches and buildings from banks and other financial institutions. FBR helped the company raise more than $400 million in capital in September.

The American Financial IPO came the day that Los Angeles-based Maguire Properties said it would sell 35.6 million shares, valued at $19 each, in an IPO. Real estate and stock market analysts said the two IPOs could be an indication of a resurgent stock market.

In other news…

• CoStar Group Inc. and Loopnet Inc. said this week that they have settled a 4-year-old copyright-infringement lawsuit. CoStar, a provider of commercial real estate information, had said that competitor Loopnet improperly used CoStar photographs for its listing service.

• Donohoe Construction began work on The Lofts at Crystal Towers in Arlington. The four-story apartment building will have 212 units, including 20 two-level loft apartments. Charles E. Smith Residential owns and develops the property, which is scheduled for completion in 2005.

• The D.C. Housing Finance Agency issued $10.7 million in tax-exempt bonds to fund the construction of Bowling Green Apartments in Ward 8. Franklin Capital Group and Jair Lynch Co. will develop the property with four, three-story buildings made up of 96 units.

Property Lines runs Fridays. Tim Lemke can be reached at [email protected] or 202/636-4836.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide