Larger sales could follow JBG’s North Bethesda Market deal

The JBG Cos., fresh off agreeing to sell a $200 million stake in its mixed-use North Bethesda Market development, has a much larger portfolio of Washington-area office and retail properties on the market.

Last week JBG Urban LLC, a joint venture between Chevy Chase-based JBG and MacFarlane Partners, agreed to sell a majority interest in North Bethesda Market, a residential and retail hub on Rockville Pike in Maryland, to the managers of Capri Urban Investors, a Chicago private equity fund.

The development, built by JBG from 2007 to 2009, has a 24-story, 397-unit luxury apartment building and more than 199,000 square feet of retail, including a Whole Foods Market, a Seasons 52 restaurant and an LA Fitness gym.

Much bigger sales could be on the horizon. According to W. Matt Kelly, managing director of JBG investment management, the company is marketing more than $1 billion worth of office and retail properties, hoping to form one or more joint ventures that would allow the company to retain a stake in the properties.

“We’ve been in the market for a couple of weeks now and we’re looking for a joint venture partner because the assets are well situated for buyers that are looking for income, current income, but many of them if not all of them have good long-term appreciation prospects as well,” Kelly said.

“We may end up with a joint venture, we may end up with maybe we sell a few, it might be a mix of things,” Kelly added.

The most marquee property in the office portfolio is the 756,000-square-foot Techworld, at 800 K St. and 801 I St. NW, a 12-story property across the street from Mount Vernon Square. Tenants include the Federal Emergency Management Agency and IBM. Other office properties include Artery Plaza, a 274,000-square-foot property at 7200 Wisconsin Ave. near the Bethesda Metrorail station, and 1 Choke Cherry, an eight-story , 228,000-square-foot office building in Rockville.

The retail properties are headlined by Woodland Park Crossing, a Harris Teeter-anchored shopping center in Herndon, and the Village at Waugh Chapel, a Gambrills, Md., shopping plaza.

JBG has raised seven institutional real estate funds dating back to 2002. It formed the joint venture with MacFarlane Partners by selling an 82 percent stake in 93 properties to MacFarlane in 2007.

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