Sure, it’s not Brooklyn. It’s not Georgetown, or even Clarendon. But think of the riverfront, the airport access, the Metro station!
Crystal City is in play, at least half of it. Twenty-six buildings there — totaling more than half of all the square footage in the neighborhood — are owned by the same company, Vornado Realty Trust.
The New York company’s chief executive reiterated in a conference call with investors last week that he was thinking of “separating” the Washington business, which could mean spinning it off. Most of that business is Crystal City real estate, including more than a dozen office buildings plus apartment buildings, shops, restaurants and a hotel.
For interested investors, there is a lot to like. The chief executive, Steven Roth, has spun off other business before and promised to work with “major speed” toward a deal if there is one to be had. And he pledged to prepare that company to succeed on its own.
“[T]he business will be, if and when we make that decision and launch, it will be set up for success from a balance sheet point of view, from a capital plan point of view, from a team point of view,” Roth said, according to a transcript.
Other good news: This half of Crystal City also includes a bunch of cool, new stuff Vornado has lured to the area in recent years including a hip bar, a start-up hub and a WeWork building with furnished apartments. On the way in June is a Whole Foods Market grocery store and another 700 apartments.
Think of them as throw-ins.
Interested parties should be forewarned however that building those new apartments and restaurants costs a lot of money and can be a money-losing proposition. Vornado lost $93.8 million in the quarter, with much of the damage inflicted by its Washington-area properties (the majority of which are in Crystal City). So there’s that.
Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz