Donato: Construction financing
still rare for office development.

WASHINGTON, DC-Office redevelopment and construction loans are still rare enough that most transactions are enough to turn heads—without the building in question being a historic landmark. Douglas Development’s recent $21.3-million reconstruction loan falls into both categories.

A domestic bank provided the company with a seven-year construction-permanent loan to redevelop the Wonder Bread Building at 641 S St., NW. CBRE Capital Markets helped to secure the funds. The building was formerly a distribution warehouse for Hostess, which recently announced it would cease making such iconic junk foods as Twinkies and Ding Dongs.

Douglas Development is planning a complete renovation and adaptive reuse of the 82,000-square-foot property into office and retail use. The building, one of the few extant industrial buildings in the central area of the District, was originally the Dorsch’s White Cross Bakery. Then it was turned into a commercial bakery by the Wonder Bread company. Douglas Development, the DC Preservation League and the District of Columbia Historic Preservation Office worked to list the building as a historic landmark property.

The redeveloped building will be located in the cross section of three emerging neighborhoods, giving these streets a boost, Joe Donato of CBRE, tells Logan Circle, U Street Corridor, and NOMA. “The area is filling in and becoming very vibrant,” he says.