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WASHINGTON, DC-Lerner Enterprises has made plans to build a class A 190,000-sf facility at 20 M St. SE, a corner parcel near the Washington Navy Yard and the planned stadium for the Washington Nationals baseball team. Development costs for the endeavor have not been disclosed; but Lerner did pay nearly $3.4 million for the parcel–officially designated Square 698, Lots 1, 2, 3, 20, 804, and 805–back in 2001. And according to DC Marketing Center’s 2003 Guide to Development in the District, the valuation of the project is $17.1 million.

While 20 M St. is a speculative project, Lerner decided now is a good time to move forward. Other office development projects have recently reached completion and drawn attention to the area. “The relocation of Navsea Headquarters has initiated activity in this emerging market,” a 2003 Spaulding & Slye Colliers report on the Federal Gateway area concludes. “As a result of the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Act, more than 4,200 Naval Sea Systems Command employees have been moved from Crystal City to one million sf of new office space in the Washington Navy Yard. Additionally, it is estimated that Navsea-related subcontractors will move another 5,000 plus workers along the M Street Corridor SE to support the Navy’s relocation”

Designed by WDG Architecture PLLC, 20 M St. will be a 10-story green or environmentally friendly building with an unspecified amount of ground-level retail and a four-level underground parking facility. Diamond Property Co. is in charge of the building’s leasing activity, while Lerner Corp. and a subsidiary of parent company Lerner Enterprises will oversee property management and retail leasing, respectively.

Lerner Enterprises principal Mark D. Lerner says being in the immediate proximity of the Southeast Federal Center and the future home of the Washington Nationals, “gives us the confidence to begin construction of 20 M St.” With work getting under way this summer, the building is scheduled for completion in 2007.

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