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WASHINGTON, DC-Developer DRI Partners Inc. and joint venture partner CarrAmerica have secured a buyer for their new 201,500-sf, office building at 799 Ninth St., less than a year after its completion. The 10-story, class A structure is under contract to be sold to German fund manager Blue Capital Investments for an estimated $78 million, or as noted by CarrAmerica chief investment officer Karen Dorigan during a recent earnings conference call, about $385-per-sf.

Located in the District’s East End submarket, the glass-and-steel structure features three floors of sub-level parking capable of accommodating up to 155 vehicles. CarrAmerica senior vice president of capital markets Stephen Walsh tells the property cost approximately $60 million to develop and is 95% leased to federal government entities. Occupants include lead tenant the US Mint, which pre-leased its 150,000-sf space in a 20-year deal for $42-per-sf, and the General Services Administration, which occupies two floors.

“Such a disposition is not normally part of our strategy,” Walsh explains. “We were brought in on this development by DRI. We normally don’t sell a downtown property.” As for Blue Capital, its interest in the new building, some industry insiders speculate, an early indication of what could be a flood of interest among German investors in US commercial real estate properties due to a German law that became effective in July. Germany’s Fourth Financial Market Enhancement Act allows open-end funds to increase such investments outside the European Union from 20% to 30% of total assets. Parties involved in the Ninth Street property deal expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter.

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