Tishman Speyer Reels in Law Firm for DC Office Project

The 364,000-square-foot trophy property is on track to open in 2020.

Washington, D.C.—Tishman Speyer’s new office project, 2050 M. St. in Washington, D.C., is attracting all the right attention. The developer just signed law firm Paul Hastings LLP to a 97,000-square-foot lease, three years in advance of the 364,000-square-foot trophy office property’s scheduled completion.

2050 M St., Washington, D.C.

2050 M St., Washington, D.C.

“The competition to attract world-class office building tenants in the great cities around the globe is keener than ever before. And as a developer, we are seeing an increased demand for office environments that are more than just pleasant places to sit at a desk. This requires a strong emphasis on the best design elements, along with facilities and services that are truly employee-supportive,” Rob Speyer, president & CEO of Tishman Speyer, said in a prepared statement. Tishman Speyer declined to comment beyond the press release.

Under a 16-year agreement, Paul Hastings staked a claim to the top three floors, as well as additional space elsewhere in the 11-story building. It’s a prominent lease for what will be a prominent property. Designed by Rex Architecture, 2050 M will be a cutting-edge office destination, the likes of which have never been seen in Washington, D.C.—literally.

The property will feature floor-to-ceiling curved glass, created with cold-bending technology, designed to eliminate the perimeter columns and vertical mullions typically used in commercial towers. The result is a seemingly transparent, kaleidoscopic structure. Looks aren’t everything, however. The innovative curtain wall will also allow for greater energy efficiency, a factor supporting Tishman Speyer’s bid for LEED Gold certification of the building.

And there’s more that will be new to the eye in the District, if one has the opportunity to catch a glimpse.  Tishman Speyer culled two parcels to create 2050 M, one of which is home to the Washington Bureau of CBS. In 2015, the developer struck a deal with CBS for the parcel, agreeing to build the network a new state-of-the-art broadcasting center–wrapped by 2050 M.  Rex has conceived a property that will feature two standalone structures, one encased in the other, with separate entrances for CBS and the office tenants.

With the CBS occupancy and the new Paul Hastings commitment, the office space at 2050 M is 31 percent pre-leased. The growing tenant roster belies the state of the office market in Washington, D.C. At the close of 2016, the overall vacancy rate was 12.6 percent, the market’s peak level since 1992, according to a report by commercial real estate services firm CBRE. And while the market recorded 7.1 million square feet of leasing activity, the figure marks a 35 percent decrease from 2015, and a 31 percent decline from the 10-year average. Some properties are weathering the storm nicely; it helps to be in the right class category. “The market remains highly segmented as tenants continue to seek space in the top sector of the market—trophy buildings,” Revathi Greenwood, a research director with CBRE, said in prepared remarks.

2050 M, which will also feature 10,800 square feet of retail space, is on track to open in 2020, at which point Paul Hastings will leave behind its 100,000-square-foot digs at 875 15th St.