ASB Fund Sells DC Trophy Building for $144M

Masaveu Real Estate US, an affiliate of internationally diversified Spanish conglomerate Corporacion Masaveu S.A., is the new owner of the 900 G St., N.W., office property in the city’s East End.

900 G St. NW in Washington, D.C.
900 G St. NW in Washington, D.C.

900 G St., N.W., a 112,635-square-foot trophy office building in the East End submarket of Washington, D.C., has been sold to an affiliate of Masaveu Real Estate US for $144 million. The sale was announced by ASB Real Estate Investments, which sold the building on behalf of the Allegiance Fund, ASB’s $7.4 billion core investment vehicle.

The acquisition of 900 G St. will grow Masaveu’s footprint in the U.S., which includes hotels in California and office buildings in Houston and Miami. The company’s portfolio here is reportedly valued at more than $720 million.

ASB had developed 900 G St. in partnership with MRP Realty and later acquired MRP’s interest, after the project reached stabilization in 2016. The project was designed by Gensler and earned NAIOP’s award for Best Urban Office Building up to 150,000 square feet in 2016.

The property is 95 percent leased to legal and government affairs tenants including Simpson Thacher, Swiss RE, Rio Tinto, Herman Miller, Truth Initiative, and BMW.

The nine-story building was completed in 2015, is LEED Gold certified, and features 58 below-ground parking spaces and 6,925 square feet of first-floor retail, according to information provided to Commercial Property Executive by Yardi Matrix.

We saw a strategic, and somewhat unique, opportunity to take advantage of domestic and international capital demand for new Class A product after successfully leasing up this one-of-a-kind trophy project,” Larry Braithwaite, senior VP & portfolio manager of ASB’s Allegiance Fund, said in a prepared statement.

ASB retains more than $807 million of investments in the Washington metro, including 64 New York Ave. NE, a 355,000-square-foot government-leased office building that ASB acquired in December 2017.

Eastdil Secured was ASB’s broker in connection with the sale, and DLA Piper LLP served as ASB’s counsel. The buyer was advised by EXAN Capital, of Miami.

Masaveu Real Estate US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Corporacion Masaveu S.A., which was founded in 1840 and now holds an internationally diversified business portfolio, with a presence in such sectors as energy, finance and manufacturing.

A market that is overbuilt and getting worse

Last year, the Washington office market saw at least three major buildings, totaling 424,000 square feet, delivered with zero preleasing, and only about a quarter of all spec office space under way is preleased, according to a third-quarter report from JLL.

Tech firms such as Facebook and Yelp have helped, a bit, to fill space vacated by law firms that have been downsizing, though some other law firms are taking additional space, the report notes.

The East End submarket specifically includes about 23.1 million square feet of Class A space and saw a negligible net absorption of about 1,600 square feet in the first three quarters. Worse, as of the third quarter, 2.4 million square feet of office space was under construction, almost all of it Class A, according to the report.

Average Class A total vacancy is a painful 17.5 percent; the average asking rent is $69.92. 

Image courtesy of ASB Real Estate Investments