North Va. Office Campus Changes Hands

American Real Estate Partners has acquired a Class A office campus in the Loudon County submarket of Ashburn.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

Douglas FleitAmerican Real Estate Partners has acquired a 12-building, 1.9-million-square-foot Class A office campus in the Loudon County submarket of Ashburn, Va., from Verizon.

The property was originally developed by MCI/WorldCom and also includes over 20 acres of developable land that can accommodate in excess of 1,000,000 square feet of additional office and data center space.

“The Ashburn campus was designed and constructed as a fresh, contemporary and efficient group of buildings that is a model today of what corporate office space should be,” Douglas Fleit, American Real Estate Partners’ CEO, told Commercial Property Executive. “Verizon was in the process of redefining its business and the acquisition gave up an opportunity of redefining the campus as well. The technology play here for both office space and data center space is simply amazing.”

As part of the deal, Verizon agreed to lease back 1,518,365 square feet on a short-term basis, which will transition to a 1,022,702 square foot 12-year lease.

“Verizon was willing to make a commitment to lease more than 1-million square feet of long-term space that provided significant cash flow,” Fleit said. “That steady cash flow allows us to make the thoughtful and impactful changes to the rest of the building that will enhance the campus and make it attractive for leading technology companies as well as security-conscious government users.”

According to Fleit, the company plans to roll out many changes over the next year and have already engaged the world-renown Gensler to work with them in designing and implementing the improvements.

“We provide best-of-class space, services and environments for the companies who lease in our properties,” he said. “We recognize that the best companies are competing for the best-of-class talent in the market and are looking for space that meet the needs of their employees.”

Located in the Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital, the Ashburn campus is located in the epicenter of Data Center Alley, and a highly desirable location for all data center, technology and security users. The office market boasts the second largest concentration of technology workers in the country, and Ashburn boasts the world’s largest concentration of data centers, with nearly six million square feet currently in operation in the submarket.

The acquisition is American Real Estate Partners’ seventh investment made through its Strategic Office Fund I LP.