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ALEXANDRIA, VA-Aslan Realty Partners LP has acquired and begun renovating a 218,000-sf building at 4401 Ford Ave. here. The price of the 14-story building was undisclosed. The seller was Stone Tract Associates, a partnership controlled by Erkiletian Real Estate, also of Alexandria.Transwestern Investment Co. LLC, which manages the $486-million Aslan fund, represented the buyer and will handle leasing and property management for the new owner.

The building, located near King Street and Interstate 395, is undergoing a $5-million renovation of its common areas, interior and exterior, says Joe Concepcion, asset manager for Transwestern Investment Co. The area is known for its government and defense contractor tenants who like being close to the Pentagon.

About 180,000 sf of the building is vacant since the Center for Naval Analysis moved out, clearing the way for the renovation. Transwestern plans to finish upgrading the building in December, then re-lease it.There’s significant value-added opportunity, says Concepcion. “The vacancy rate is well below the national average, and there’s not many large blocks of space available in the market.” The vacancy rate for the I-395 corridor was 10.9% at the end of June, above the national average, but much of that is due to the building’s vacancy, according to the brokerage firm of Cassidy & Pinkard. “When you have a four- to five-million-sf market, and a building comes on the market, it can make a four to five point difference in vacancy rates,” says Mary Petersen, head of research for Cassidy & Pinkard.

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