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WASHINGTON, DC-SmithBucklin, an association management company, has signed a 10-year lease to renew and expand its CBD office at 2025 M St. The firm, now in 54,963 sf, is taking an additional 16,426 sf that will be delivered in two pieces in 2008 and 2009.

Studley executive vice president Tom Fulcher in Washington DC and corporate managing director Scott Kulberg in Chicago represented the eight-year tenant, whose lease wasn’t set to expire until 2010. The building’s owner, a partnership consisting of Tishman Speyer and several other firms, used in-house representation.

C. Albert Koob, SmithBucklin’s CFO, tells GlobeSt.com that staying in its current location was “a win-win for us because we were able to expand our space to accommodate our growth without the distractions and disruptions of moving.”

The new lease gives SmithBucklin considerable headroom, Fulcher tells GlobeSt.com. “As the other leases expire, they have rights to that space and they can expand up to 80%,” he says.

Kulberg says the firm right now is occupying floors seven and eight and part of six. The options they have to expand will allow them to take over most of the fifth floor, he adds.

The eight-story, 194,624-sf office building was completed in 1971 and upgraded in 1995. The renovation included a new entry arcade, lobby and elevator cabs and upgrades to mechanical, electrical, fire and life safety systems. Fulcher says the new lease brings the building close to full occupancy.

Space in the CBD is traditionally very tight as reflected by average rental rates in the submarket. According to GVA Advantis’ newly released report on CBD fundamentals, average rental rates increased dramatically in 2007, reaching $45.59 per sf by year’s end. In first quarter 2008, rates inched up even to $46.18 per sf by the end of March. Class A space averages $48.64 per sf and class B space is running $42.75 per sf. The firm also reported that other CBD leases in Q1 were 117,000 sf by the General Services Administration at 1717 H St. and 56,000 sf, also by GSA, at 750 17th St.

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