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WASHINGTON, DC-20 M St. SE, a 190,000-sf office building developed by Lerner Enterprises and designed by WDG Architecture, has been awarded LEED Gold certification–the first in the city to achieve this certification level for Core & Shell Development, according to the US Green Building Council.

Brokers handling leasing for the building, which delivered in March 2007 and is still vacant, expect the designation to increase demand for the space. Brian Raher with Cushman & Wakefield tells GlobeSt.com that he expects the building to be 50% occupied by the end of the year.

“LEED certified buildings are not abundant in the DC area yet,” he says. “There are maybe a handful of Gold LEED certified buildings, and even fewer that have available space.” At the same time, there is a growing demand by tenants from all industries to occupy green buildings, he says.

Asking rates for 20 M St. range from $44 per sf to $50 per sf. Interest is strong in the building, according to Raher, who adds that there are deals pending in the pipeline. One reason why the building has not leased up yet is its location, an unusual spot for a green–much less a Gold LEED certified–building to have been developed. “It is an emerging market for green right now in this submarket. The location is very pioneering–but less so than it was 12 months ago.”

The 10-story building is part of the general revitalization underway in southeast around the Navy Yard and Baseball stadium. Green features include Green features include roofing that reduces heat island effects, plumbing fixtures that reduce water consumption, high-efficiency HVAC systems and humidity control, extensive use of recycled materials and locally manufactured products, low-emitting paints, carpet, adhesives, and sealants, monitoring systems for environmental comfort, advanced stormwater management measures and easy access to public transportation.

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