Leasing Transaction of the Year - MD
ABT Associates at Executive Plaza
With more than two years remaining on its 123,000 square foot lease in Bethesda, Abt Associates, represented by two real estate advisory firms, set out to take advantage of favorable tenant market conditions and solve for its facilities needs over the next 15-20 years. They conducted an exhaustive search of buildings in the I-270 Corridor, Silver Spring and Northern Virginia. The resulting 155,000 square foot lease transaction was challenging because of its size, the timing, the desire to stay in an amenity-rich, 24/7 neighborhood, while reducing occupancy costs. Executive Plaza (EP), is a two building, 338,000 sf project on Executive Blvd. in North Bethesda that had been occupied by NIH for 25 years, but was due to be vacant in a year at the time of the acquisition by a New York based privately held investment firm in 2012. The firm subsequently partnered with local developer for the repositioning that included a $10 million renovation and rebranding campaign. The strategy was to offer EP as a Class A, value alternative to the Bethesda CBD. Beyond getting a newly renovated, class A building with a high quality sponsor and attractive lease terms including a commencement date of 2018, Abt also has an eye towards the positive transformation of the White Flint Redevelopment District. Avison Young’s Jack McShea, Bob Dickman, Bob Wrightson and Brian McCarthy represented the landlord, Doug Olson with Monument Realty is the owner’s representative and Abt Associates was represented by Kevin McGloon of Cushman & Wakefield and Phil Giunta of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.