By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor
“We were attracted to the location in Tenleytown, a submarket with great infrastructure, including a Metro station and a Whole Foods,” Brook Katzen, UIP’s vice president of development, told Commercial Property Executive. “There has been a flight to quality in the office market, leaving older office buildings in need of a new use. Meanwhile, the multifamily market is still strong, and these buildings will make great conversions.”
Bobby Meehling and Scott Frankel of CBRE represented the seller in all three transactions.
The portfolio includes a 38,396-square-foot building at 4000 Brandywine St. NW., long the home of the WAMU Building, where American University housed its radio station and recording studios. AU will continue to occupy the building for about nine months.
Also part of the sale was the approximately 60,000-square-foot building at 4620 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The building is also occupied by AU, which will stay in its space for about a year.
The third property is the 39,299-square-foot building at 4545 42nd St. NW, which was built to look like individual town homes or row houses, but is actually a single-poured concrete structure occupied by a mix of commercial tenants. It will continue to operate as a commercial office rental property.
UIP plans to invest $75 million in order to gut-renovate the Brandywine and Wisconsin Avenue buildings, creating residential apartments, all within a block of the Tenleytown-AU Metro station on the Red Line and with an abundance of underground parking.
“We are in the business of redeveloping, rehabbing, and recycling buildings. We like to fix buildings that are in good locations, making use of existing structures and infrastructure,” Katzen said. “Tenleytown is a lovely neighborhood, with the potential to be even better. Tenleytown is within easy access of multiple employment centers, including Friendship Heights, Bethesda, Dupont Circle, and all of downtown D.C. by Metro.”
All three properties are located nearby DC’s public Wilson High School, the Wilson Aquatic Center, Friendship/Tenley Public Library, the brand new AU Law School, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Panera Bread, Burger Tap & Shake, CVS Pharmacy, and other popular retailers.
In addition to the Tenleytown/AU Metrorail station, the neighborhood has 11 Metrobus lines originating at Tenley and a several local circulator buses including the AU and Sibley Hospital shuttles.