- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 12, 2004

The first three office condominium buildings raised at Dulles Trade Center I were so popular that developer Buchanan Partners decided to break ground on three more.

The Gaithersburg company began construction on buildings totaling 175,000 square feet, including sought-after “mezzanine space” used for meetings and events. The three existing buildings, built in 2001 and totaling 228,000 square feet, are sold out, with the exception of one unit.

Many of the office condominium buyers are contractors for the homebuilding industry, who have reaped enormous success from the housing boom in Loudoun County. Furthermore, buyers were drawn to the ability to buy space from Buchanan rather than lease.

“The market has responded well to Buchanan Partners’ quality product, a lengthy period of low interest rates, and the desire of many business owners to control their long-term property costs,” said Dave Gunter, president of Commercial Group Realty, which is marketing the trade center.

The three new buildings are expected to be more environmentally friendly than typical construction, with the use of “slag” cement, a by-product of steel usually sent to landfills. The buildings also will have skylights for natural lighting and special insulation designed to cut energy costs.

Morgan Gick McBeath and Associates of Falls Church is the architecture firm involved in the project. Hubert Construction of Gaithersburg is the general contractor.

Upon completion in 2006, the Dulles Trade Center I complex will consist of 10 office buildings totaling 750,000 square feet. Two similar projects, Dulles Trade Centers II and III, are in the early planning stages.

First Potomac on a spree

First Potomac Realty Trust just won’t slow down.

The real estate investment firm, which went public in October, expanded its post-IPO portfolio when it paid $9.8 million for Airpark Place Business Center, an 82,200-square-foot industrial property in Gaithersburg.

The company, which has its headquarters in Bethesda, has spent $232 million on 21 industrial and flex buildings in the Washington area since the initial public offering, representing about 2.3 million square feet. It now has a portfolio of 71 properties in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and Norfolk area.

The Airpark Place property is 95 percent leased to 23 tenants. Dexall Biomedical Labs is the largest tenant, occupying 16 percent of the space. First Potomac said it expects an 8.5 percent return on its investment in the first year.

In other news

• Jones Lang LaSalle, the world’s largest commercial real estate advisory firm, announced two new leases totaling 157,533 square feet at Greensboro Corporate Center in Tysons Corner. The Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald LLP law firm leased four floors totaling 71,367 square feet, to serve as its corporate headquarters. The MITRE Corp., a nonprofit research and development group, will assume four floors totaling 86,166 square feet for 300 of its workers.

Property Lines runs Fridays. Tim Lemke can be reached at tlemke@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-4836.


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