Meridian Group Buys Northern Virginia Office Campus

JLL Capital Markets represented the sellers and procured the buyer of the two-building asset.

Plaza East, Chantilly, Va.
Plaza East. Image courtesy of JLL

Just over a decade after acquiring Plaza East in Chantilly, Va., MRP Realty and Rockpoint Group have sold the 247,000-square-foot office complex to The Meridian Group.

MRP and Rockpoint secured a buyer with the assistance of JLL Capital Markets, which, in addition to representing the sellers in the transaction, assisted the buyer in obtaining acquisition financing for the fully leased, two-building asset in Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.

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MRP and Rockpoint had owned Plaza East since 2010, when they purchased the HOK-designed campus from lender General Electric Co. following the previous owner’s loan default. The partners had acquired the property for $31.6 million with the aid of a $30 million loan through EagleBank, according to CommercialEdge data. Developed by Tishman Speyer in 2007, Plaza East consists of 14291 and 14295 Park Meadow Drive, which feature approximately 125,000 and 122,000 square feet, respectively, on a prime site at the center of the Westfields submarket’s cyber-intelligence hub. Today, the five-story, mission critical office campus is leased to seven tenants, with government contractor Perspecta Inc. serving as anchor, occupying 68 percent of the property’s rentable building area.

JLL Capital Markets’ Matt Nicholson, Jim Meisel, Andrew Weir and Dave Baker represented MRP and Rockpoint in the sale of Plaza East. The firm’s Paul Spellman and Dan McIntyre spearheaded financing efforts on behalf of the buyer.

Sales slump

The sales momentum seen in the Northern Virginia office market in 2018 and 2019 took a big hit in 2020 as a result of COVID-19, as noted in a first quarter 2021 report by Newmark. The first office property in suburban Washington to sell after the onset of the pandemic did not occur until October 2020, when Marcus Partners sold the approximately 284,300-square-foot complex at 3170 & 3180 Fairview Park in Falls Church, Va., to Vanderbilt Properties in a transaction valued at $87.5 million. And sales activity remained muted in the first quarter of 2021. The sole trade over $20 million in the first three months of the New Year was the fully leased, 240,000-square-foot property at 2001 N. Beauregard St. in Alexandria, which Mexico’s Grupo Haddad purchased from G8 Capital for $71.7 million, or roughly $299 per square foot.

However, the investment sales forecast for the remainder of 2021 is a bit brighter. “It is likely activity increases during the remainder of 2021 as public health conditions improve and Northern Virginia’s strong mix of industries attracts investors,” according to the Newmark report. 

JLL Capital Markets has a positive outlook on the future of investor interest in the local office sector as well.

“Northern Virginia, Chantilly in particular, continues to be a bright spot for our market thanks in large part to the significant federal dollars flowing to contractors in the cyber security, cloud computing and AI space, Nicholson, a managing director with JLL Capital Markets, told Commercial Property Executive. “Couple this increasing spend with Northern Virginia’s continued investment in its infrastructure—both road and rail—and rapidly expanding data center market, and investors will be well positioned to capitalize on the corresponding growth in our office market near-term.”

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