Rubenstein Readies Suburban D.C. Office Property for Renovation

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and Rosenthal Partners will handle leasing efforts for the 365,000-square-foot mixed-use asset in Northern Virginia.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Steve Evans, Rubenstein Partners
Steve Evans, Rubenstein Partners

Washington—It’s all systems go for Rubenstein Partners LP‘s transformation of Carlyle Tower, a mixed-use office property in Alexandria, Va. The real estate investment management firm and its partner, Northpoint Realty Partners, just formed a team to spearhead the rebranding and repositioning of the approximately 365,000-square-foot asset, located just minutes from Washington, D.C.

Commercial real estate services firms Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and Rosenthal Partners are the chosen ones, tapped with filling up the tenant rosters for the office and retail spaces, respectively.

Located across from a Metrorail station at 2461 Eisenhower Ave., Carlyle Tower is a misnomer of sorts. The property, which Rubenstein and Northpoint acquired in September 2015 from Hoffman Family LLC, is not a single-building site. It consists of a 335,000-square-foot office tower with ground-level retail; a single-story, 32,500-square-foot retail center wrapping the 14-story office structure; and a pad site zoned for 7,500 square feet of retail space. But it’s the office building that will get the bulk of the attention in the renovation process.

Developed in 1969 and standing in shell condition at the time of the acquisition, the tower will emerge from its makeover with a list of new features: new skin, systems, lobby space, fitness center, conference facilities and related tenant improvements. And with a redevelopment design created by the architectural firm of Noritake Associates, Carlyle Tower is primed for its conversion from a Class B asset to a Class A jewel. “Carlyle Tower is planned to be state-of-the-art in terms of physical building improvements and mixed-use Metro proximate amenities,” Steve Evans, Rubenstein regional director for Washington, D.C., said in a prepared statement.

The project is well positioned for success—literally. The changing landscape in Northern Virginia, spurred by the extension of the Metrorail, is prompting real estate companies to plan for the redevelopment of older office and retail properties into mixed-use, Metro-adjacent destinations, according to a fourth quarter 2015 report by NGKF.

For now, however, the Northern Virginia market has its challenges, with the Class A office vacancy rate resting at 18.5 percent, per the NGKF report. Rubenstein and Northpoint are undeterred by the less-than-desirable figure. “Our investment in Carlyle Tower reinforces our conviction about the staying power of Alexandria and the long-term growth outlook for the D.C. market as a whole,” Christian Chambers, managing partner of Northpoint, noted in prepared remarks. “This will be a first-class project upon completion that we’re confident will be attractive to tenants looking for top-quality space with a great location.”

Rubenstein and Northpoint have the renovation team in place, and financing for the endeavor is at the ready as well, courtesy of EagleBank. The new Carlyle Tower is on track to make its debut in 2017.