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WASHINGTON, DC-Two buildings in Washington have either gone into contract or have just closed, a source familiar with both transactions tells GlobeSt.com. One is 500 First St., in the Capitol Hill submarket. The rumored contract price for the 131,000-sf building is said to be $50 million, or $381 per sf, according to the source.

Owned by Gould Properties, the building is fully occupied by the Department of Justice. Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers’ website indicates that the building is indeed under contract. According to the site, the asset is leased to the Department of Justice “at below market rents with the opportunity to renew without a fixed-rate renewal option in place.” Cassidy declined to comment.

The other trade said to have closed is 1780 Massachusetts Ave. Owned by a Planned Parenthood Federation, word on the street is that the 19,410-sf building sold for $13 million, the source says. The building last traded in 1999 at $3.2 million.

There have been other trades as well: Dweck Properties recently secured $53 million in financing for 1900 M St. NW, a 111,531-sf office building in the CBD. HFF senior managing director Bob Donhauser and director Cary Abod placed a five-year, fixed-rate loan with Anglo Irish Bank. Loan proceeds are being used to acquire the property. Built in 1976 and renovated in 2000, 1900 M St. is an eight-story mixed use property that is fully leased to tenants that include Grant Thornton, the American Society of Hematology and Levick Strategic Communications.

Also, Shorenstein Properties LLC has provided $56.5 million in mezzanine loans to finance the acquisition of 1200 New Hampshire Ave. and 2300 M St., two fully-leased class A office buildings totaling 422,000-sf in the West End submarket. The loans were provided to a joint venture between Carlyle Group of Washington, DC and DCD America, a private real estate investment firm based in New York City.

Despite these deals though–which could be attributed to the usual end of the year flurry of activity–there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence that investment sales in the District have slowed. Third quarter numbers are still being crunched, says Tonya Ginter, director of Research & Marketing for GVA Advantis, but she is sure they will show a decline compared to Q3 figures from 2006. “Obviously the slow down is due to the credit crunch and the fact that buyers are more wary of buying in this environment.” Meanwhile, sellers are not willing to trade properties at any sort of discount. “If they don’t see the price they want they will hold back from putting it on the market,” Ginter tells GlobeSt.com. How long this standoff between buyers looking for price reductions and sellers convinced this is just a low phase in an up cycle remains to be seen.

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