Washington, DC, Trophy Office Tower Trades for $121M

A notable Washington, D.C., office building was recently sold for $121.4 million. The office tower lies in the East End submarket of the national capitol.

Carroll Square, a 178,000-square foot office building in Washington, D.C., has come under new ownership, courtesy of a $121.4 million transaction. With the assistance of commercial real estate and capital markets services provider HFF, Seaton Benkowski & Partners sold the leasehold interest in the premier property to Germany’s GLL Partners, which also assumed an existing loan on the asset.

The amount of debt involved in the deal has not been disclosed. However, several months after SPB completed Carroll Square with development partner Akridge in 2007, the company announced that MetLife had provided $66 million in permanent financing for the building at 975 F St., NW, which is encumbered by a ground lease with the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., for the next 90 years.

Sited in the city’s East End submarket, just a stone’s throw from the historic St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, five-year-old Carroll Square has a notable history of its own. The 10-story structure, Designed by SmithGroup, is a melding of new construction and seven commercial townhomes originally developed in the late 1800s. The end result is a premier property featuring approximately 158,000 square feet of office space, 13,600 square feet of retail accommodations and 6,500 square feet of artist studio space. Akridge oversees leasing and management of Carroll Square, where the tenant roster includes law firms Seyfarth Shaw, Holland & Hart, and Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto.

The $682 per-square-foot price tag attached to the asset continues a string of big-ticket transactions in the East End this year. In the second quarter, Commonwealth purchased 600 14th St. for approximately $797 per square-foot and Jamestown Properties picked up 733 10th St. for $818 per square-foot. Across Washington, D.C., prices continue to increase and trade volume is still on the upswing. During the first half of 2012, office sales reached $2.3 billion, marking a notable uptick from the $2.1 billion in sales in the first half of 2011, according to a report by commercial real estate services firm Transwestern.

“Interest in quality, well-located District assets remains elevated among investors,” the report stated. “With vacancy remaining below 10 percent, the District of Columbia will remain among the country’s healthiest downtown markets.”