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WASHINGTON, DC-A small-sized office building in Washington, DC’s central business district has traded for $21.4 million, according to a source. The seller was a pension fund whose investor portfolio is advised by the US real estate business of UBS Global Asset Management. Guardian Realty Investors LLC was the buyer. The firm is currently acquiring some $400 million in office buildings in the Washington Metropolitan area under its Guardian Realty Fund II.

Eric Berkman, Steve Gichner, Brian MacDonald, Juliana Ko and Ashley Blum, of Grubb & Ellis Co., represented the seller.

Originally built as part of the British Embassy, with a first-class finish, the eight-story, 45,422-sf boutique structure is 94% occupied. Its address, 1146 19th St., places it in the heart of the CBD’s Golden Triangle Business Improvement District, an area where law firms, financial services firms, associations and banks tend to locate.

Berkman, who is senior vice president at Grubb & Ellis, tells GlobeSt.com that buildings in this size range have become a hot commodity for both buyers and sellers. “A lot of smaller buildings in the District, especially the CBD, are getting torn down and renovated. That means smaller firms that wish to be in a building that can offer it its own floor-plate are finding their options increasingly limited.” This trend will only worsen, he adds. “There is an estimated 3.3 million sf of class B space in the District that will either be demolished or redeveloped,”

As a result rents in some of the remaining smaller buildings have gone up significantly over the last six month, rising by some $10 per sf, he says. But at 1146 19th St. the jump was between $5 to $7 per sf.

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