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August 31, 2012

First Potomac Sells Stake in 1200 17th St., N.W., for $43.7M

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

First Potomac Realty Trust last week announced the sale of its 95 percent stake in 1200 17th St., N.W., in downtown Washington, D.C., for $43.7 million as part of a larger analysis of its development pipeline. First Potomac acquired the property in a joint venture with Akridge from the National Restaurant Association for $37.6 million in October 2011.

Douglas Donatelli, chairman & CEO of First Potomac, stated that the “sale allows us to achieve our previously stated goals of monetizing an investment after we have added value, significantly strengthening our balance sheet and decreasing risk in our portfolio.” According to the Bethesda-based real estate investment trust, it believes 1200 17th St. will be a successful development but could not pass on the opportunity to sell. First Potomac will now focus on other projects, like the redevelopment of 440 First St., N.W., expected to be completed in mid-2013.

Buyer Mitsui Fudosan America, the U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s largest real estate company, partnered with Akridge on The Homer Building at 601 13th St., N.W., in January and Mitsui Fudosan on 700 Sixth St. and 1090 Vermont Ave. in the past, according to Citybizlist.com.

The new partners will work together to complete the trophy-class office building in D.C.’s central business district, according to a press release. The project calls for the current building to be demolished and replaced with a new, 168,000-square-foot trophy asset on the same high-demand site, near the red, blue and orange Metro lines. According to First Potomac, Akridge will continue to own its portion of the project and will remain the developer.

The building will be LEED Platinum certified, with glass on all four sides, expansive ceiling heights, broad column spacing, a rooftop terrace and a fitness center. The project is expected to be finished in the fourth quarter of 2014.

“Partnering with Mitsui Fudosan ensures that we are able to keep this project moving forward with the great momentum that First Potomac has lent thus far,” said P. Brian Connolly, Akridge’s senior vice president of leasing and acquisitions.

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Image courtesy of Akridge.

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