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WASHINGTON, DC-Apollo Real Estate and Van Ness Property Group are rapidly expanding their footprint in the North of Massachusetts submarket, the District’s latest up and coming neighborhood. Apollo Real Estate Investment Fund V LP and Van Ness, which is an affiliate of the Polinger Co., have acquired a 1.5-acre land site at the intersection of First and M streets from Stephen A. Goldberg Co.The joint venture plans to develop two office buildings on the site. The acquired lot is next to the duo’s recently purchased Capital Plaza I, a newly constructed 290,000-sf class A office building that was acquired for $94.5 million.

The partnership’s new land parcel, which traded hands at an undisclosed price, is zoned for nearly 600,000 sf of office development.

Plans call for the development of Capitol Plaza II and III on this plot. These buildings will feature a modern design with a combination of pre-cast and glass window and curtain walls, according to Apollo executives.

“Given the expected growth of the NoMa marketplace and our ability to deliver new product, we felt it was advantageous to expand beyond Apollo VEF Fund VI’s Capitol Plaza I investment and secure control of Capitol Plaza II and III,” says John Jacobsson, Apollo managing partner. “Our funds now control a significant block of space in an emerging submarket within a historically strong urban market.”

In an earlier interview with GlobeSt.com, Jacobsson hinted that Apollo would be acquiring additional space in NoMA as well as focusing more attention on the District itself.

Investment activity in NoMA has heightened considerably over the last few months. In March the area, which is bounded by Massachusetts Avenue on the south, North Capitol Street on the west, and Q and R streets on the north, was declared a new Business Improvement District by the District of Columbia Council.

There is roughly $1 billion of planned or ongoing development in the area, outside of the government’s ATF facility, which is poised to deliver this fall. Other projects similar to Capital Plaza II and II can be expected to be announced as more land in the area is acquired by developers. For instance, Bristol Group owns a 6.9-acre site here that is on the market. The site can accommodate up to 2.6 million sf of total density. It already has an existing 422,760-sf building on it located at 131 M St. The entire package is expected to trade north of $300 million.

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