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Capital Business
Posted at 06:58 PM ET, 06/27/2012

Vornado battling back from BRAC

Relocations prompted by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) process have eaten away at occupancy for Vornado/Charles E. Smith, one of the largest owners of office space in Northern Virginia, but the company recently inked a pair of deals to fill some of its available space.

Mitchell N. Schear, Vornado/Charles E. Smith president, said Wednesday that Anser Analytic Services had signed a lease for nearly 88,000 square feet at the Skyline office complex, along Leesburg Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads.

Anser, a research group serving the Air Force, plans to occupy about one-fifth of the 403,000-square-foot building Skyline 7, at 5275 Leesburg Pike, which was left completely empty last year after the Defense Information Systems Agency vacated for Fort Meade. The vacant space raised concern with a special servicer on the loan for the property, CW Capital.

In another deal to shore up Crystal City—another area jilted by BRAC — Schear said that defense contractor DRS Technologies would relocate its corporate headquarters from New Jersey to 93,000 square feet at 2345 Crystal Drive (where Vornado’s Washington offices are also located).

DRS is part of Finmeccanica, an Italian defense and aerospace conglomerate. DRS already occupies 35,000 square feet in the building and decided to consolidate its headquarters there after Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) approved a $1 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund.

“Our entire leadership team will benefit by being closer to our customers, as well as enjoying all that this great state and region has to offer,” said William J. Lynn, III, DRS chief executive, in an April statement McDonnell issued saying DRS would move its headquarters to Arlington County.

The leasing market in Washington took a turn for the worst in the first quarter of this year, with Washington office users occupying nearly 1.5 million square feet less than they did at the start of the quarter, the biggest drop of any of the country’s 45 top office markets.

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

By  |  06:58 PM ET, 06/27/2012

Tags:  Vornado Realty Trust, Vornado/Charles E. Smith, Crystal City, BRAC

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