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Capital Business
Posted at 06:02 PM ET, 10/24/2012

CNN’s D.C. headquarters sells for $106 million

A $106 million deal for CNN’s 11-story Washington headquarters, on First Street NE, closed Tuesday night.

The broadcasting giant’s new landlord is Harbor Group International, a private real estate investment and management firm based in Norfolk.

CNN’s building, at 820 First St. NE, also houses federal government agencies and Accenture. It is in the NoMa neighborhood, which in recent years has seen a jump in apartment construction.

Harbor Group President T. Richard Litton Jr. said the influx of residents, along with proposed expansion and improvements at Union Station, made the deal more attractive.

“We just think all the things that will draw office tenants and users are going to be getting better in the future,” Litton said.

Harbor Group already owns apartment buildings in the area and has been looking at office buildings to buy, but until now couldn't get the price it wanted, Litton said. The $106 million deal includes the assumption of $58 million of debt from the previous owner, he said.

“The market the last couple of years has been very expensive so it has been hard to buy at prices that we thought made sense,” he said

The building is 99 percent occupied, but some leases are set to expire soon, which could either be a blessing or a burden, depending on whether there are other tenants interested in being neighbors to presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley and the rest of CNN’s Washington staff. The leasing market has dramatically slowed in the past six months, but Litton said the company had a longer view of the property.

“We don’t get into deals to get in and get out and try to flip them,” he said.

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

By  |  06:02 PM ET, 10/24/2012

Tags:  CNN, Harbor Group International, NoMA, commercial real estate

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