The Middle East bets big again on Washington real estate


An illustration that shows what the $550 million Marriott Marquis in Washington will look like once completed. The property’s principal investor is a sovereign wealth fund from Abu Dhabi. (Courtesy of Capstone Development LLC)

The principal investor in the District’s convention center hotel, a Marriott Marquis, is a sovereign wealth fund from Abu Dhabi.

The construction projects represent the two largest in the District and are among the largest on the East Coast at the moment. Now Middle Eastern investors have bought a massive stake in one of the Washington area’s most enticing development portfolios and another of its largest development projects.

When Goldman Sachs completed the purchase of a nearly 79 percent stake in an 11-property Rosslyn office portfolio last week, it did so using $1.2 billion from its U.S. Real Estate Opportunities fund, owned by itself, the Qatar Investment Authority and the Kuwait Investment Authority, according to Monday Properties, which co-owns and manages the portfolio.

That’s right: the Qatar Investment Authority now owns not only the lion’s share of CityCenter DC but is a major stakeholder in one of the most valuable portfolios in all of Arlington. Monday Properties is constructing what will likely be the tallest office building in the region on one of the sites.

What does this mean? Well for one thing no foreign country probably has more riding on Washington’s leasing market than Qatar.

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.
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