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WASHINGTON, DC-A super-sized office compound that could ultimately be as large as 2.9 million sf is destined for the District, now that Akridge has acquired a seven-acre parcel known as Square 711 from First and M Investing Co. Leucadia National Corp. came through with the financial resources for the purchase. All parties involved are keeping mum on just how much the land cost, but the office project–to be called Capital Square–could end up costing as much as a reported $700 million to complete.

Capital Square, which will carry the address of 100 M St. in the Capitol Hill area of the District, will likely consist of a bevy of 11-story office structures with room for ground-level retail tenants. Space at the proposed development is being marketed through Cushman and Wakefield. “The parcel can yield about 2.9 million sf, but the layout likely will be two million sf,” C&W senior director of commercial brokerage Brian R. Raher tells GlobeSt.com. “The site can yield a variety of different sized buildings. They can do multiple structures from very large, to as small as 100,000 sf.”

The number of buildings and the timing of construction for the first building are all subject to pre-leasing activity. “It’s a question of where demand takes us,” Raher explains. And demand is likely to take Akridge and C&W exactly where they would like to go. According to Advantis Real Estate Services Co.’s District of Columbia Office Survey for November 2003, vacancy rates in the Capitol Hill submarket were at a low 4.2% for the fourth quarter, as of Nov. 1. The report also found that 93% of the nearly 750,000 sf of space currently under construction in the area has been pre-leased, so the demand for office space is definitely present.

As for asking prices for Capital Square office digs, it appears to be too early to quote numbers. “We’re really just beginning with pre-leasing now,” Raher tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re in the marketing material stage, and we’re working with the architect on what we’ll be offering.” Architectural Hellmuth Obata + Kassabaum is on board to design the multi-structure campus. As per Advantis’s numbers, premiere office space in the Capitol Hill area currently commands an average of $33.50 per sf.

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