Lowe Gets $116M Refi for DC-Area Office

Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises has refinanced Century Center I and II, a 624,600-square-foot office complex in Arlington, Va., for $116.1 million. The Washington, D.C., office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. placed the three-year adjustable rate loan with GE Real Estate. The proceeds repaid the original loans on the property and will finance additional renovations now underway. Since acquiring the property (pictured), which is located four blocks south of the Crystal City Metrorail station, two years ago, Lowe, a national real estate investment, development and management firm, has carried out a complete renovation of the building systems and infrastructure and refurbished the lobbies and public spaces to meet the current Class A building standards. The remaining renovations will redo the ground level space and install retail shops. Lowe also owns the Jefferson Plaza Office Complex in the Crystal City area of Arlington, having acquired the 517,300-square-foot property with two 13-story towers in February. While Lowe has been increasing its holdings in Arlington, research conducted by CB Richard Ellis Inc. indicates that demand for Northern Virginia office space slowed during the second quarter. For example, CGI, a government consultant, vacated 210,000 square feet and consolidated into 70,000 square feet in Fairfax Center. Despite positive net absorption of office space in the second quarter, the vacancy rate rose 54 basis points to 11.77 percent. CBRE projects that the vacancy rate will increase to 13 percent by the end of the year, thanks to the delivery of new, but vacant space.