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ASHBURN, VA-St. John Properties Inc. has sold 142 acres here to retirement community developer Erickson Retirement Communities for approximately $23 million. The sale represents a significant chunk of the acreage within Ashburn Crossing, a 240-acre plot previously entirely owned by St. John Properties that is being developed into a mixed-use community. Now that the Erickson transaction is complete, the company has a better idea of how it should develop the remaining acres.

“It gives us a demographic to plan around–a pretty upscale demographic,” says St. John Properties’ Dennis Castleman, vice president of marketing.

Knowing that a retirement community will be built on the land means St. John Properties can develop a better mix of office and retail product in the area, he adds, especially as the company’s nearby tech park starts to deliver its products. Two office buildings now under construction at Ashburn Technology Park, a 660,000-sf business community located at the intersection of Dulles Greenway and Waxpool Road near Dulles International Airport, are expected to be complete by Q1 2007. Ashburn Crossing is located near the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Sully Road.

Catonsville, MD-based Erickson Retirement Communities manages 18 campuses in nine states and is currently developing new campuses in the Denver and Kansas City areas. A spokesperson for Erickson Retirement Communities notes that there are 140,000 people that fall within Erickson Retirement Communities’ demographics. “We want to work with local officials and the community to design a campus that complements the existing model of our successful Greenspring Village campus in Springfield, Virginia, which has set statewide occupancy records,” the spokesperson says in a statement.

Jerry Wit, senior vice president of marketing and leasing for St. John Properties, says in a statement that he expects to begin groundbreaking in the near future. “This is an excellent user with which to jump-start development activities at Ashburn Crossing, and our company’s future office and retail projects will operate in tandem with this product category.”

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