WASHINGTON, DC-Buy-and-hold investor Blake Real Estate has inked a total of 255,000 square feet of leases since this summer — with 50,000 square feet of that dedicated to new tenants. A five-year renewal by the World Bank at 1800 G St. for 140,000 square feet, with a five-year option, is among the most notable of these deals.

Others include Ewing Cole, which leased 15,317 square feet at 1025 Connecticut Ave., and Washington Winnelson Co., which has leased 13,882 square feet at 5710-5714 Columbia Park Road, in Cheverly, MD.

The activity has resulted in a 4.6% vacancy rate for the 2.6-million-square-foot portfolio – 10 buildings all together — in the DC area, Steve Lustgarten, Blake Real Estate executive vice president, tells GlobeSt.com. The company did not come down dramatically in rental rates to nab these leases, he also says.

“I think we may have dropped prices by 5% to 6.5% over the last year-and-a-half.” Lustgarten says Blake Real Estate is following the market in the concessions it has been offering with TIs. Where it hasn’t budged, though, is with free rent. “There, we are below the market,” Lustgarten says. “That is not something we believe in.” Other recent transactions include CCCI, which leased 8,150 square feet at 1120 Conn. Ave.; NAICU, which leased 8,185 square feet at 1025 Conn. Ave.; and Palm Management, for 7,631 square feet at 1730 Rhode Island Ave. Indeed, besides the World Bank, Ewing Cole and Washington Winnelson, Blake’s activity consisted largely of numerous small leases under 10,000 square feet.

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