In an item about leases at Trinity Centre in the Oct. 11 From the Ground Up column, the clients that two brokers represented were transposed. Linda Mallison of Transwestern/Carey Winston represented RDR inc. Phillip Liebow of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Convergys Corp. (Published 10/25/1999)
Lamott DuPont figures America Online and MCI WorldCom will turn out to be pretty good neighbors.
DuPont's District-based company, DuPont Fabros Development, has purchased a 118-acre tract of Loudoun County land across the street from those two high-tech giants. The company is moving ahead with plans to develop the land, known as Ashburn Corporate Center, into a 2 million-square-foot complex of office, flex, hotel and retail space. (Flex buildings can be used either as offices or warehouses; they're usually one story, with high ceilings.) The tract is on Waxpool Road, just off Route 28 north of Dulles International Airport.
"There are a number of users who have a financial interest in being near the MCI site; there's also a prestige factor," DuPont said.
One unidentified high-tech user is already in discussions about buying some of the land to build a 500,000-square-foot flex operation, said Mike Shuler, the broker at Millennium Real Estate Advisors who handled the sale and is the leasing agent.
The new owners also hope to begin speculative development of about 300,000 square feet of mid-rise office space this spring, DuPont said.
DuPont and partner Hossein Fateh, a former principal with Northern Virginia developer Batman Corp., founded their company in 1997 to acquire property in the District and Virginia. Ashburn Corporate Center will be their biggest project so far. They own two smallish downtown office buildings -- 1707 H St. NW and 734 15th St. NW -- and a 30-acre tract in Chantilly where they hope to break ground in March on 300,000 square feet of flex space.
Dupont Fabros bought the land from an affiliate of Florida-based Legend Properties Inc., which assembled the tract last year from two adjoining properties. Legend, a Florida company that usually works on much larger residential developments, shepherded the project through the zoning exceptions necessary to build what's now planned.
"We were able to create value and basically flip the property at a profit and let someone else in the Washington, D.C., area go ahead with it," said Peter Henn, president of Legend.
According to DuPont, his company paid about $15 million, or $2.90 per square foot, for the land. The parcel already has infrastructure improvements -- roads, sewer, water and storm drainage -- that would cost about $1.50 per foot to build. Those improvements were made by the developer that owned the land in the late 1980s, Centennial Cos., DuPont said.
Charles Henyon and Randy Atkins of Julien J. Studley Inc.'s Northern Virginia office represented the seller in the transaction.
Lowe to Buy Land Near Capitol Hill
Lowe Enterprises Mid-Atlantic Inc. has a contract to purchase a tract of land at 601 New Jersey Ave. NW, a parking lot on the edge of Capitol Hill, where it would like to build a 279,000-square-foot office building.
"We think it's a submarket and a site whose time has come," Michael Balaban, senior vice president of Lowe, said about the area south of Massachusetts Avenue and east of Interstate 395.
Two recent top-class redevelopments nearby -- law firm Jones Day has moved to 51 Louisiana Ave. NW and the American Council of Life Insurance has pre-leased much of 101 Constitution Ave. NW -- presage further demand in the neighborhood, Balaban said.
Who would move to 601 New Jersey? "We think it could be associations, we think it could be unions, we think it could be GSA, we think it could be some value-conscious law firms," Balaban said.
The New Jersey Avenue site is "the hole in the doughnut," said Lew Bolan, of the real estate consulting firm Bolan-Smart Associates, which is working for Lowe on the project.
Office development is moving east from downtown and south from the Union Station area, he said, "and there's this little triangle that's underused."
Lowe is still in the exploratory stage on the project, Balaban said, but if the firm decides to move forward with its purchase, he estimated that construction could begin in mid-2000 and that the building could be complete in 2002.
Lowe has engaged the architectural firm of Hickok-Warner-Fox to design the building. Lou Christopher of Cushman Realty is handling the marketing.
First Trinity Centre Leases Signed
The first tenants have signed up for space at Trinity Centre, a planned five-building office park in Centreville.
Both leases are for space in Trinity Three, a 92,442-square-foot building that is the first in the park to be completed. Convergys Corp. of Cincinnati leased 30,500 square feet; it was represented by Linda Mallison of Transwestern/Carey Winston. Fairfax-based RDR Inc. leased 15,000 square feet; it was represented by Phillip Liebow of Jones Lang LaSalle. Trinity Centre was represented by Warren Amason, John Lesinski and Andy Klaff of Grubb & Ellis.
Another 150,000-square-foot office building is also under construction at Trinity Centre, which is owned by a joint venture of KSI Services, Clark Real Estate Advisors and J.P. Morgan Investment.
When the park is finished, it will have 600,000 square feet of office space. In addition to office space, there are also a Marriott suite hotel and a stand-alone 95,000-square-foot fitness club under construction.