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Two Washington-area developers have entered a joint venture to build an office campus of more than 2 million sf on 45 acres next to Washington Dulles International Airport. Clark Realty Capital LLC of Bethesda, MD, an affiliate of the giant Clark Construction, partnered with Fairfax, VA-based Pomeroy Investments Inc., which sold the land to the joint venture.

The two partners believe the massive tract will draw interest from big tenants looking for office campus sites. “The real draw with this site is to be able to put that much square footage in a (Dulles) Toll Road location,” says Cleve Johnson, managing director with Clark. High technology tenants now dotting Northern Virginia see the Toll Road, which connects the airport with Washington, as a prestigious corridor. It has the fastest growing traffic in Virginia and commands a premium on rents.

The partners plan to raise eight to 10 office buildings on the site at the northwest corner of Frying Pan and Horse Pen Roads in Fairfax County. They would range in size from 150,000 to 250,000 sf. Construction could start in early 2001, with completion by late 2002.

The owners also say they are ready to move quickly–which helps in the fast-moving Northern Virginia market. The site is zoned for office use and has preliminary site plan approval for one building. Even financing is in place, say one official. “We’re very far down the line,” Johnson says.

The developers have not selected an architect, but are in the process of choosing their broker. And they haven’t decided whether to proceed speculatively or wait to line up tenants first.

Construction would begin much like a “town center” project, with initial surface parking lots that are later used for new buildings or structured parking garages. The partners eventually want to take advantage of zoning that permits them to build as high as seven stories, and may seek exceptions to build even more prominent buildings.

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