Commercial Real Estate: Something New for Dulles

Technology company GTSI has agreed to move its headquarters next year from Chantilly to a new building in Herndon, providing a shot in the arm to the Dulles commercial real estate market, which has seen a surge of speculative construction over the past few years.

GTSI, which sells furbished computers, software and networking products to the U.S. government, signed a 10-year lease for 104,000 square feet in the building, which is still under construction. The company, which is the first major tenant for the project, expects to move into its address along Route 28 South in December 2008.

The building is part of an office complex being developed by Chicago-based Fifield, which is making its first venture into the Washington market with the project. In the summer of 2006, Fifield purchased from District-based Penzance the land, building rights and development plans for the complex's two structures, which have a total of 355,000 square feet of office space.

Fifield took those plans and added a three-story atrium connecting the two buildings, as well as a deli, a sports club and other fancier touches.

"We have a really good presence, the amenities are great and the views are terrific," said Tom Saletta, a senior vice president at Fifield.

Commercial broker CB Richard Ellis suggested that the building add a "five-star" concierge service to the buildings, through which tenants can purchase sporting event tickets or plan events. Those services were intended to make tenants "feel like guests at a hotel," and was ultimately a key selling point in the deal, Malcolm Schweiker, a senior vice president for CB Richard Ellis, said.

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The Wachovia Bank & Trust is providing $196 million worth of debt financing for the construction of a 1.25 million square foot office development in Alexandria called Victory Center, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, the commercial real estate firm developing the project.

The renovation of the Eisenhower building, on Eisenhower Avenue, is underway and expected to be completed in October of 2008. Spaulding & Slye Investments and Prudential Real Estate Investors are owners of the building. Two additional office buildings totaling 640,000 square feet are also slated to rise in a second phase of construction. A start date has not been announced.
-- Alejandro Lazo

By Mike Shepard  |  December 20, 2007; 2:55 PM ET  | Category:  Real Estate
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