CHANTILLY, VA-A joint venture between Pitcairn Properties and GE Real Estate has acquired a newly completed office complex here for $78.5 million, or $262 per sf, from the Carlyle Group. The two-building, 312,000-sf development, called Mission Ridge, was designed with the aim of leasing to government contractors, according to John Kevill of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Capital Markets group.

Kevill, along with Collins Ege and James Molloy, represented the Carlyle Group in the transaction. Jones Lang LaSalle and Ardent Management LLC, in conjunction with the Carlyle Group, co-developed the project, which delivered in July. The new owners have retained Jones Lang LaSalle as leasing and management agent for the vacant building.

“This is the closest large block of space available to the National Reconnaissance Office,” Kevill tells “Carlyle developed it with that kind of tenant–a contractor for an intelligence agency for instance, in mind.”

Located at 15020 and 15030 Conference Center Dr., the five-story buildings, designed by the SmithGroup, incorporate advanced physical security features that meet the latest Department of Defense security standards for government and government contractor facilities, Kevill notes. Also, the development has been awarded a Silver LEED designation by the US Green Building Council.

Tonya L. Ginter, director of Research and Marketing for GVA Advantis, tells that this particular submarket–the western Fairfax area, or Route 28 South–is one of the fastest growing in the county thanks to NRO’s move here in the early 1990s. Many government contractors already have a presence here including Boeing, the Aerospace Corp., ManTech, SAIC, CACI, Scitor, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics, according to a report she recently authored. At the same time, though, the combination of slowing investment sales and heated development here is causing some buyers to shift investment patterns. “Increasingly we are seeing more investors buy vacant buildings and then act as asset managers,” she says.

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