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WASHINGTON, DC-Vornado Realty Trust has closed its “like-kind” building trade with DC publisher BNA (Bureau of National Affairs) that was first reported last year. Vornado has sold a 277,000-sf office building located at 1801 South Bell St. in Crystal City to BNA. Simultaneously, it has acquired a three-building complex from the company in the District’s West End submarket, one of which has served as its headquarters.

Vornado received sales proceeds of approximately $100 million from BNA for the DC buildings, recognizing a net gain of roughly $23 million. BNA received $111 million for the three buildings it sold. According to a statement by the Paramus, NJ-based REIT, the 130,000-sf building will remain an office asset, but the other two structures will be redeveloped into residential buildings.

The West End has been expecting BNA’s exodus since the deal was announced last year, Tonya L. Ginter, CCIM and director of Research & Marketing for GVA Advantis tells GlobeSt.com. “They are moving some 1,000 jobs to Crystal City and leaving more than 100,000 sf of space vacant in the West End.”

While the vacancy rate will clearly rise after the company leave, its absence is unlikely to have a detrimental long term impact. As space in the tiny submarket is traditionally very tight, Ginter notes; it has a 6.8% vacancy rate right now, for instance. Also, there are quite a few law firms looking for space in this part of town, she adds. The average asking rate for space in the West End ranges from $43 per sf to $44 per sf.



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