The Washington Building, at 1440 New York Ave. NW, was sold last week by Perpetual Savings Bank to an undisclosed U.S. pension fund represented by Richard Ellis Inc., a New York real estate firm.
The purchase price of the 11-story, 200,000-square-foot building was not disclosed, but industry specialists estimated it at between $60 million and $70 million.
"Our client is confident of the long-term strength of the Washington market and this particular building because of its location," said a spokesman for Ellis.
The 1927 beaux-arts building is opposite the Department of the Treasury building.
The Washington Building was renovated in 1986, and its original granite and limestone facade was preserved.
"The quality of the improvements is first class and will enable the building to compete at the top of the D.C. rental market," said Carla F. Giannini, a senior vice president of Ellis who negotiated the transaction.
Perpetual will continue to operate a retail financial center and corporate banking offices in the building, which is 92 percent leased.
Tenants in the building, which include the law firm of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and the investment banking company of Alex Brown & Sons Inc., will not be affected by the change in ownership, according to a spokesman for Perpetual.
"We are very pleased with this sale," said Thomas J. Owen, Perpetual's chairman.
"It frees up cash that we will be able to reinvest in other profitable ventures and enhances the net worth of the company."