United Communications Group (UCG)

Client Situation

United Communications Group (UCG) was facing lease expiration on its Rockville, Maryland headquarters and selected Studley (now Savills Studley) to help evaluate its occupancy costs and space-use options. Despite the company’s comfort with its current location of more than 15 years, it recognized that there was an opportunity to look at its space use, environment, operating costs and image from a fresh perspective.  UCG wanted to address its real estate strategy taking into consideration its corporate culture, employee base, sustainability concerns and economics.

Consideration Analysis

UCG interviewed the top commercial real estate advisory firms and selected Studley to help evaluate their cost and space use options.  UCG wanted to meet its corporate objectives under the best economic terms possible.  It was critical to UCG’s executives that they understood the opportunities that existed in their current space as well as new space options. All the choices needed to be weighed against employee work/life quality in addition to any potential differences in occupancy cost.

Studley created a renovation and space-use plan for the existing facility, along with a detailed construction/FF&E budget.  This analysis was coupled with the lease terms negotiated with the landlord for a lease extension, enabling UCG to see what the capital and long-term lease costs of staying put would be. The results were compared to the lease, purchase and build-to-suit options in the marketplace.  


Studley uncovered a relocation opportunity at 9737 Washingtonian Boulevard, a building being subleased by Marriott, which has become UCG’s new headquarters. The new location offers UCG employees a workplace environment with a lake, restaurants, health club and cafeteria. Studley negotiated a long-term sublease agreement with costs in material compliance to UCG’s stay put opportunity. In addition, as a part of Studley’s negotiations, the sublessor was required to pay most of the move-in and capital costs.  As a result, UCG was able to move into a more efficient, state-of the-art facility with concessions that covered the costs of new furniture and infrastructure, while maintaining parity on annual costs.

Summary Information

  • Property: 9737 Washingtonian Boulevard, Gaithersburg, MD
  • Transaction Size: 70,781 SF
  • Transaction Type: Lease Relocation, Sublease
  • Service Line: Office