FAIRFAX, VA-The Peterson Cos., one of Northern Virginia’s highest-profile developers, is seeking outside investors in its properties for the first time in its history.The Fairfax-based family-owned developer has started marketing a portfolio of 10 properties stretching from suburban Herndon to urban Alexandria. The properties comprise 1.3 million sf of office and retail space.

“We have almost no partners. It just seems like the right time,” says William C. Smith, senior vice president with Peterson. “We’ve got a good solid portfolio. There are an awful lot of investors who are looking to buy. The valuation seems to be right.”

The company wants to take advantage of the good selling market, where 11.4 million sf is up for sale right now in the Washington area.

The portfolio includes seven buildings in Fairfax, Fair Lakes North and South, Fair Lakes Three, Four and Five, Hyatt Plaza and Parkway Woods. It also includes Crown Ridge in Fairfax, Dulles Overlook in Herndon and King Street Metro Place in Alexandria.

“We’re willing to bring someone in up to 60%. We want to maintain a sizeable interest,” Smith said.

Peterson also wants to raise funds to bring more than 2 million sf of other projects in its development pipeline out to market. Projects include: Fairfax Corner, Dulles Tech, its downtown Silver Spring redevelopment project, land on Rt. 28 across from Dulles International Airport and the massive National Harbor project that it is jointly developing with Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment.

Peterson, which is represented by Estill, believes it can line up a deal with an institutional investor by year end.

“We’re getting more than nibbles,” Smith said.

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