PRC Inc., one of this region's largest "Beltway bandit" government contractors, has picked an inside-the-Beltway Tysons Corner site for a new office complex that will house about 2,200 employees now spread between Reston and McLean.
The headquarters will be made up of two connected eight-story buildings on a 15-acre tract off Route 123 near Colshire Drive. PRC, a subsidiary of California-based Litton Industries Inc., will rent the planned 570,000-square-foot facility from developer WestGroup.
"For the last two years, Litton PRC has been reviewing options for new headquarters space," Len Pomata, president of PRC, said in a statement. "Our goal has been to relocate to flexible, modern space, close to our customers, that would accommodate our current employees and provide for future growth. We are building two buildings now, but also have an option to build another structure on this site when our growth warrants. This site has clearly met all our requirements."
Earlier this year PRC backed out of negotiations to lease space in the Westfields office park, which lies outside the Capital Beltway. During the office construction boom of the last two years, while Internet and telecommunications companies have tended to pick office locations near the Dulles Toll Road, professional services companies such as PRC have been choosing closer-in sites.
"Why be located inside the Beltway?" said Randy Belote, spokesman for Litton. "A large majority of the work Litton PRC accomplishes has to do with government agencies that are inside the Beltway."
Those clients include the Labor Department, Defense Department, Postal Service and, as Belote said, "the guys at Langley," that is, the CIA.
Tysons Corner "gives us flexibility to reach those customers," he said.
The new buildings will include not only office space, but also room for a conference center. Like other big local employers, PRC will add amenities designed to make life easier for employees without them having to leave the campus during the workday -- a cafeteria, credit union, convenience store, exercise facility and jogging paths.
"There's been a lot of thought given to the actual structure," Belote said.
PRC was represented in its negotiations by brokers Brian McVay and John Thomas of the McLean office of Cushman & Wakefield. WestGroup represented itself. The move is scheduled for 2002.
125 Notable Projects
Engineering News-Record, the construction industry magazine, has included a sprinkling of Washington area projects on a new list of the 125 top building projects of the last 125 years.
The list, published to commemorate the magazine's 125th anniversary, includes many of the engineering wonders of the modern world -- projects such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Hoover Dam, Panama Canal, Kennedy Space Center and Chunnel.
One Washington project that made the list might not seem so obvious. It's an office building at 1200 New York Ave. NW, named as an outstanding 1995 project alongside such major public works as the Boston Harbor cleanup, France's Normandy bridge and the Denver airport. The building is the headquarters of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It was picked because it's a pioneer in the use of "green" construction -- that is, environmentally friendly techniques. The magazine's mention focuses on the offices of one tenant, the Natural Resources Defense Council, where there are "walls made of straw and countertops made of junk mail, newsprint and soybeans."
The other, much larger, local projects to make the list:
The Pentagon, 1943, "was at the time the world's largest office building. The five-sided, reinforced concrete building had five floors above ground and an undisclosed number below. . . . Wartime urgency pushed construction to just 16 months."
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, 1964, "one of America's biggest, boldest over-water projects ever, the 17-mile [project] connected Virginia's remote Delmarva peninsula to the mainland at Norfolk."
The Washington Metro, 1976, "was one of the first U.S. applications of the New Austrian Tunneling Method. [It] is characterized by its architectural beauty."
Mack-Cali Buys Building
Mack-Cali Realty Corp., a publicly held real estate investment trust based in New Jersey, has acquired the office building at 1201 Connecticut Ave. NW for $32.2 million from an investment fund managed by Lend Lease Real Estate Investments Inc.
The price works out to $190 per square foot for the 12-story, 169,000-square-foot building, which Mack-Cali characterized as "well below replacement costs."
This was the fourth building in the Washington area for Mack-Cali, which said it plans to further increase its holdings here.
A New Name in Bethesda
Realty Information Group Inc., the growing Bethesda company that is the mainstay of research information in the office brokerage business (and the provider of information for the charts on this page), has changed its name effective today to CoStar Group Inc.
While that name might seem meaningless to the general public, it will be familiar to all the Washington area real estate brokers who have the company's CoStar database installed on their computers. As RIG expanded nationally beyond its local roots, it bought a number of other research companies with different names for their products. The idea behind the name change, according to the company, is to give a unified identity to the firm, its products and subsidiaries. Along with the new name, the company gets a new stock ticker symbol today, CSGP on the Nasdaq Stock Market.