Capital Ideas: Doug Donatelli

Doug Donatelli has transformed First Potomac Realty into a Washington player.

Though 11 Dupont Circle commanded a more-than-respectable $89 million when it traded in September, it was far from the biggest or most expensive property to change hands this year in Washington, D.C. A number of other office properties in the capital have commanded several times as much. Whatever it appeared to lack in size, however, the deal made up in savvy. Not only is the 155,713-square-foot building fully leased, its submarket, Dupont Circle, ranks among the most vibrant urban neighborhoods in the country.

And the deal allowed its new owner, First Potomac Realty Trust of Bethesda, Md., to reach a major milestone. The acquisition of 11 Dupont Circle boosted the REIT’s holdings in the District past 1 million square feet. Once principally an owner of flex and industrial properties, the 17-year-old REIT has transformed itself in recent years into one of the rising office investors in the nation’s capital.

To this hyper-competitive market Donatelli brings a lifetime of local knowledge, diverse executive experience and a reputation for decisiveness. “He is a very good dealmaker,” said Robert Cohen, CEO of Washington-based Perseus Realty L.L.C. “He doesn’t lollygag around when he sees something he likes.”

Read the full article in the November 2014 issue of CPE. Access is free!