Watergate Offices on the Market
Saturday, May 21, 2005
The office building where the Watergate burglary took place is for sale, and real estate brokers expect that its well-known name will help attract buyers and fetch around $100 million.
The 198,000-square-foot office building at 2600 Virginia Ave. NW in the city's West End is being sold, along with all of the retail space in the six-building Watergate complex.
The 1972 break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters -- which eventually led to President Richard M. Nixon's resignation -- happened on the sixth floor of the 11-story building.
"It will help that it's so well known," said Warren Dahlstrom, a senior sales broker at Cushman & Wakefield, a major commercial real estate services company. "Next to the Taj Mahal, I can't think of a building that has more instant global name recognition."
"It will have a direct impact on pricing because . . . it has a certain name recognition as opposed to being just another nice office building in Washington," he said. Dahlstrom said German investors who have put large amounts of capital into buying buildings in the D.C. area would be likely contenders to buy it. "It's more meaningful if a guy can walk into the beer hall and say, 'I just bought a piece of the Watergate.' "
The building is owned by Trizec Properties Inc. Paul Collins, an investment sales broker at Cassidy & Pinkard whose firm is handling the sale, said he will start giving tours of the building next week to interested buyers and has received more than two dozen inquiries. He expects to sell the building this summer.
Tenants in the building include the Embassy of Brunei, the Kuwait Information Office, the Cultural Mission of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabian Airlines.
The Watergate building is part of a complex that was built in the 1960s and designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti. The complex sits next to the John F. Kennedy Center and overlooks the Potomac River. It includes a hotel, three residential buildings with 644 cooperative units, and another office building -- 600 New Hampshire Ave.
The New Hampshire Avenue building last sold in 2003 for $108 million, or $383 a foot. It is owned by Corporate Executive Board Co. founder David G. Bradley, who also owns Atlantic Monthly magazine.
Monument Realty LLC bought the 251-room Watergate hotel last year and plans to turn it into luxury co-ops.