Nuveen JV Wraps DC Office Revamp

The $18 million makeover features a three-story glass facade and fresh amenities.
1300 Eye Street NW
Franklin Square. Image courtesy of Avison Young

A joint venture between Nuveen and Norges Bank Investment Management has completed an $18 million renovation of its Washington, D.C., office asset.

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The renovations to the Franklin Square building included installing a three-story glass facade at the entrance, soft-seating collaboration areas, an in-lobby cafe and lounge, additional security measures, as well as new elevator cabs and mechanical systems.

The property owners tapped the local architecture firm Hickok Cole to design the renovations and began work on them in the second quarter of 2019, according to Avison Young, which is in charge of the property’s leasing efforts. The Washington, D.C.-based Hickok Cole also recently designed the expansion of a 286,000-square-foot office nearby.

Will Stern, principal at Avison Young, told Commercial Property Executive, that the property was originally built in 1989 and didn’t undergo any major renovations prior to Nuveen’s efforts. The newly refurbished office property spans 485,000 square feet and offers floorplates ranging in size from 4,000 to 50,000 square feet. Stern told CPE that Franklin Square is currently 81 percent leased with a tenant roster that includes The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Verizon and Quinn Emmanuel LLP.

Located at 1300 I Street NW, Franklin Square will also be directly across from Franklin Square Park. The nearly 5-acre park is currently undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation that will add an outdoor cafe, improved tree canopy, children’s play area, interactive historic fountain and new seating and lighting.

Major amenities overhaul

As for the renovations within Franklin Square, the office building is now equipped with many more gathering areas, including a 10,000-square-foot conference facility, six conference rooms and several breakout areas. The property also includes a catering kitchen that can accommodate large events, a 5,000-square-foot fitness center and a bicycle room with maintenance stations.

Tenants also have access to an on-site events/hospitality manager that will oversee the new amenities and help organize events. Moreover, Franklin Square offers a mobile app that allows tenants to reserve conference rooms, receive local public transit updates and building announcements. The LEED Gold-designated Franklin Square also features advanced air filtration through the building’s VAV HVAC system that uses MERV 15 air filters.

Eli Barnes, principal at Avison Young, said in prepared remarks that the goal of the renovation was to maintain the building’s historic elements, while adding modern and flexible amenities.