- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 26, 2004

And they say nobody ever moves from Northern Virginia into Maryland.

The Mills Corp., one of the nation’s largest retail and entertainment developers, is moving its headquarters from Arlington to a new mixed-use development on Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase.

Mills’ new headquarters will anchor the Chevy Chase Center, a 412,000-square-foot complex featuring street-level retail and an eight-story office tower near the Friendship Heights Metro station.

The company selected Chevy Chase after an eight-month search of more than 60 properties in the District, Northern Virginia and Maryland. Real estate broker Cushman & Wakefield helped Mills with the search, and negotiated the move with the Chevy Chase Land Company, which founded Chevy Chase and owns the Chevy Chase Center.

Mills, which owns the Arundel Mills and Potomac Mills shopping malls, said the move was necessitated by growing operations and an expanding work force. It has six large projects under development worldwide, including the 4.8 million-square-foot, $1.3 billion Meadowlands Xanadu project in New Jersey.

“While Arlington has been a good home for us, Chevy Chase provides us … with [a] tremendous opportunity that will benefit our rapidly growing organization and employees,” said Mills Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Laurence Siegel in a statement.

Mills will lease about 200,000 square feet at Chevy Chase Center, and is expected to bring more than 300 jobs.

Montgomery County will give Mills a $470,000 grant from its Economic Development Fund, and the state of Maryland is expected to chip in $1.16 million in grants. Mills may also receive job-creation tax credits.

Stocked space

Most of the office space under lease in the Washington area is being fully used, and job growth will likely fill up more empty space, according to a recent survey of real estate professionals.

Spaulding and Slye Colliers, a real estate services firm in the District, said nearly two-thirds of respondents to an online poll believe very little of the space currently leased is underutilized. A poll in May of 2002 indicated that more leased space was sitting unused.

The survey, though unscientific, suggests that many brokers believe a recovering economy will fill up empty offices.

In other news

• Vienna, Va.-based Atlantic Realty acquired 8618 Westwood Center Drive, a 106,500-square-foot office building in Tysons Corner. Atlantic purchased the building from American Realty Advisors of Los Angeles. Terms were not disclosed.

• Chevy Chase developer JBG began construction on the Sovereign at 2400 M St. NW, a 341-unit apartment building.

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

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