EQ Office Sells Washington Asset for $231M

The investment vehicle of Spanish tycoon Amancio Ortega acquired the asset just north of the White House from the Blackstone affiliate.
815 Connecticut Ave. Image via Google Maps

The Spanish multibillionaire behind Zara is plowing more money into U.S. real estate. An investment vehicle controlled by Amancio Ortega, founder of the Inditex retail empire, has acquired an office building neighboring the White House from Blackstone-owned EQ Office for $231.3 million, according to Yardi Matrix.

The company, Spain-based Ponte Gadea, bought 815 Connecticut Ave. NW, a 12-story, 215,684-square-foot building in the heart of Washington, D.C. Bisnow first reported the deal, citing the D.C. Recorder of Deeds. EQ Office had acquired the property from Alecta Real Estate Investment for $190 million as part of a portfolio deal in 2016.

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Ponte Gadea paid the equivalent of $1,072 per square foot for the building just north of Lafayette Square and the White House. Built in 1964, 815 Connecticut Ave. is adjacent to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Building and one block west of the McPherson Square metro station.

Cushman & Wakefield brokered the latest sale, according to the Bisnow account. Law firm Baker McKenzie, the anchor tenant, is understand to have a 90,000-square-foot lease that it renewed until 2035.

US property portfolio grows

The deal comes after Ponte Gadea snapped up another office building in the nation’s capital last December. The company paid $385.4 million to acquire The Investment Building, a trophy property at 501 K St. NW, from a joint venture of JP Morgan Asset Management and JBG Smith. The 11-story, 401,380-square-foot building was developed in 1922 and redeveloped in 2001.

Pontea Gadea also owns 1445 New York Ave., NW, a 167,358-square-foot office building that it picked up in 2007. Elsewhere in the U.S., the investment firm acquired two Amazon-occupied Class A office towers in Seattle for $740 million in March. USAA Real Estate and Touchstone sold the towers known as Troy Block in the largest single-asset sale in the city’s history.

Amancio Ortega, who is said to be worth nearly $70 billion, controls a sprawling real estate portfolio through Ponte Gadea, which owns a 50.01 percent stake in Inditex along with some $11 billion in commercial properties in the U.S. and Europe. Inditex operates 7,442 stores worldwide under Zara and other brands as of October 2018.