JBG Signs DC Anchor Tenant, Begins Construction

Urban Institute is set to occupy the building in the second quarter of 2019.

Washington, D.C.—The JBG Cos. has signed an anchor tenant and will begin construction on its 12-story, 212,000-square-foot office building at 500 L’Enfant Plaza. Urban Institute will be vacating its current headquarters at 2100 M St. NW and has signed on for 121,000 square feet, covering six floors.

500 L'Enfant Plaza

500 L’Enfant Plaza rendering

The building is part of JBG’s multiyear renovation of L’Enfant Plaza, in which construction began with 900 L’Enfant, where the new International Spy Museum will open in 2018. The podium for 500 L’Enfant, which will be part of the JGB Smith portfolio after the company merges with Vornado this year, is already constructed and vertical construction will begin in March. The asset will offer a conference center with a broadcast auditorium for the Urban Institute’s programming, a fitness center, indoor access to L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station, the largest private parking garage in D.C., 120,000 square feet of on-site amenities including more than 20 dining options and a dozen retailers, 70,000 square feet of green space, a 5,500-square-foot rooftop deck overlooking the Southwest Waterfront. The building is also adjacent to the newly remodeled 370-key hotel, which was closed in 2014 and is expected to open in 2018 as a Hilton.

“We have been working with Urban Institute for more than a year,” said Britt Snider, JBG principal, in prepared remarks. “We are excited the building is going forward. One of the concerns from prospective tenants was whether the building was going to go. Now, it obviously is and we hope this will get people interested in it.”

JBG has had plans for this property for a long time, purchasing 1.7 million square feet of space at 955 and 470/490 L’Enfant Plaza for $200 million in 2003. The 955 building underwent a $12 million renovation and reopened in 2014. As part of a 14-year-old lawsuit over the property’s rightful owner, a D.C. Superior Court judge ordered JBG to sell the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel to Stanford Hotels Corp. in 2012, just as JBG offered up an equity stake in the office properties and said it would put $140 million into upgrading the underground shopping area at L’Enfant.

Urban Institute is set to occupy the building in the second quarter of 2019.

 Image courtesy of L’Enfant Plaza