- Winner: National Science Foundation
- Location: 2500 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria
- Size: 660,848 square feet
- Value: $331 million
- Landlord: Hoffman Development Inc.
- Tenant: General Services Administration/National Science Foundation
- Tenant broker: Studley
The National Science Foundation’s search for a new headquarters in Northern Virginia was as intense as they come, pitting developers and county officials against each other for one of the largest federal leases since the Patent and Trademark Office left Crystal City for Alexandria in 2005.
When the dust had settled, the General Services Administration had selected Hoffman Development’s Hoffman Town Center along Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria as the NSF’s new home over its longtime home at Stafford Place in Ballston. The June 2013 decision was seen as a real estate bellwether, signalling the federal government’s shift away from more expensive neighborhoods and forcing jurisdictions to rethink how they do business with the feds.
The decision was a major win for Alexandria officials, who had lobbied heavily for the agency because of the potential economic boom. The NSF has more than 2,100 employees, contractors and scientists, generates about 60,000 hotel room nights a year and is expected to generate $51 million in new tax revenue for the city over the next 15 years.
Going into the search, however, many real estate observers had predicted it would be hard for any developer to successfully lure the agency from its longtime home at. But the GSA, working with Studley under the national broker contract, was able to generate intense competition and save the government millions of dollars in the long run.
The 15-year lease was well below the market rate for new construction and included millions of dollars in concessions and tenant improvements. Hoffman’s winning bid included a full-service rental rate of $33.39 per square foot, a tenant improvement allowance of $32.3 million. Hoffman, which worked with WDG Architecture, also offered $35 million more in tenant concessions to cover excess tenant improvements or to use as free rent than was required in the GSA’s solicitation...Best Real Estate Deals of 2013: Deal of the Year
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