Liberty Property Buys 291 KSF Office Building in DC for $133M

Liberty Property Trust acquired 2100 M St., N.W., Class B-plus, 291,000-square-office building in Washington, D.C., that has the potential to add more than 100,000 square feet, for $133 million from Hines.

Liberty Property Trust acquired 2100 M St., N.W., a Class B+, 290,762-square-office building in Washington, D.C., that has the potential to add more than 100,000 square feet, for $133.5 million from Hines.

“We have been seeking well-located acquisitions in D.C.’s core submarkets where we can apply our leasing, property management and development capabilities,” Ben O’Neil, Liberty Property Trust vice president, said in a news release. “Our existing downtown properties are 99 percent occupied and the acquisition of 2100 M Street NW provides us with an infusion of leasable space, in addition to future redevelopment and expansion possibilities.”

O’Neil said the transaction, which closed Monday, includes the conveyance of 105,000 square feet of development rights.

“The site’s zoning would permit a potential future redevelopment of the building to a maximum of 415,000 square feet,” he added.

“It’s important to note that we looked at the building from its current state as a B+ building that we think is in a very good location that we can lease at market rents,” O’Neil told Commercial Property Executive. “There are some things we could do to bring it up to an A-, but that’s probably not the best use of capital.”

 

The eight-story building in the Central Business District is 77 percent leased with 66,366 square feet available. Tenants include The Urban Institute, George Washington University, Social Security Administration, and the Stewart & Stewart law firm. The UPS Store and M Street Store are among the retail tenants. Rents are about $48 per square foot.

Built in 1969, the property was renovated between 2007 and 2010 by Hines, which bought the site in May 2007 through its U.S. Office Value Added Fund. Hines acquired it from Prudential Real Estate Investors, who sold it on behalf of German institutional investors in its U.S. Property Fund III. At the time, Hines officials said the Houston-based privately owned real estate firm planned to develop an additional 100,000 square feet at the site. But Hines did not add to the building during its ownership.

The site, which has an underground garage with about 275 parking spaces, is located at the convergence of three main roads in the city: M Street, New Hampshire Avenue and 21st Street. It is four blocks from both the Red and Orange/Blue Metro rail lines and has restaurants, stores and hotels within three blocks.

Liberty Property Trust owns several office buildings in the Washington, D.C., metro area including three others in the city: 1100 17 Street NW, The Liberty Building at 1129 20th Street NW and 1425 New York Avenue NW. The Malverne, Pa.-based REIT’s 81 million-square-foot portfolio includes 666 properties with about 1800 tenants in office, distribution and light manufacturing facilities in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The REIT bought 1100 17th Street NW, a 12-story, 146,472-square-foot building, in December 2011 for about $50 million. When Liberty Property Trust bought the property, it was 82 percent leased. It is currently about 97 percent leased. O’Neil told CPE the REIT would use a similar strategy at 2100 M Street NW to bring the leasing up.

Hines also has substantial holdings in the Washington, D.C. metro area, including 10 office buildings and the 10-acre CityCenterDC site, where it is developing a 2.5 million-square-foot, mixed-use project. The first phase, which will include two office buildings with a total of 514,000 square feet, is under construction. In March, Hines acquired the ownership interest of its former partner Archstone Enterprises, L.P.