First Potomac Lands Tenant for Entire 93,000-SF Suburban D.C. Office Building

Under a new 12-year agreement, Vocus will relocate its corporate headquarters to an entire building at First Potomac's 313,000-square-foot Ammendale Business Park in Beltsville, Md.

April 9, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Big office lease transactions aren’t flowing the way they used to in Suburban Washington, D.C., but they are certainly picking up, as evidenced by such transactions as First Potomac Realty Trust’s new 93,000-square-foot lease deal with public relations software company Vocus Inc. Under a new 12-year agreement, Vocus will relocate its corporate headquarters to an entire building at First Potomac’s 313,000-square-foot Ammendale Business Park in Beltsville, Md.

Situated on approximately 15 miles northeast of Washington, D.C., in the North Prince George’s County/Beltsville submarket, Ammendale Business Park encompasses seven office/warehouse structures. Vocus will occupy the building at 12051 Indian Creek. The new lease will not only allow the company to consolidate its headquarters, currently located in two buildings in Lanham, Md., under one roof, but it will also allow for an expansion from 60,000 square feet to 90,000 square feet.

The office structure, which recently underwent an exterior upgrade, will be further renovated to meet Vocus’s specific needs. As per a Vocus filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, First Potomac will provide an allowance of as much as approximately $5.6 million for the improvements.

“They have a unique build-out requirement, and 12051 Indian Creek is a nice building where they can go in with a clean slate,” Tim Zulick, Senior Vice President for Leasing at First Potomac, told CPE. The Vocus SEC filing also indicates that the company will lease 12051 Indian Creek at a rate of $15.35 per-square-foot the first year, with the rate increasing annually to $20.68 -per-square-foot in the 12th year.

Vocus took its time searching for the most appropriate office accommodations. “They had been looking around for a while; we had chatted with them a year ago,” he said. “When you get to 90,000 square feet, there are not that many single buildings available.”

As for the state of the office market in the area, leasing activity is slowly, but surely, increasing: “We have seen demand pick up in the fourth quarter of 2009 and this quarter,” Zulick said. “Tenants and brokers will come out and not just kick the tires, but get proposals, and some of the proposals turn into deals.”