April 22, 2019

Stonebridge moving quickly to prep Victory Center site for new development

Stonebridge Associates doesn't own Victory Center yet, but it is already moving to entitle the long-dormant Alexandria property for new uses. The Alexandria Planning Commission is scheduled May 7 to consider a subdivision and rezoning for a roughly 7-acre portion of the 16-acre Victory Center site, filed by Bethesda-based Stonebridge. Per the application, the proposed rezoning to the high-density, commercial residential mixed-use district will “allow for a vibrant mixed-use development that includes the retention of the Victory Center office building with the addition of town homes to the east." ...READ MORE

April 10, 2019

Stonebridge's acquisition of Victory Center seen as hopeful sign for Alexandria

The building at 5001 Eisenhower Ave. has been a proverbial white elephant for its current owner, an affiliate of PGIM Real Estate, missing out on multiple prospects since the Army Materiel Command moved out in 2003. That included winning the competition for the Transportation Security Administration's headquarters only to have a federal judge void the deal in 2015. Stonebridge, which is slated to close on its acquisition in late May for an undisclosed price, is pursuing additional development on other parts of the 16-acre property while seeking tenants for the existing building. That could include a mix of townhouses and retail space, uses Stonebridge Principal Doug Firstenberg hopes will make the office space more attractive to prospective users. ...READ MORE

April 9, 2019

Stonebridge to acquire Victory Center in Alexandria

Stonebridge Associates has reached a deal to acquire Victory Center in Alexandria for an undisclosed price with the aim of bringing new life to the long-dormant property. The Bethesda-based developer hopes to do what the building's current owners have been unable to for about16 years: land a rent-paying office tenant. The property at 5001 Eisenhower Ave., which has been vacant since the Army Materiel Command relocated in 2003 to Fort Belvoir, is assessed at $70.9 million, according to Alexandria assessment data. Stonebridge is slated to close on its acquisition in late May. Stonebridge plans to aggressively court new office tenants, including the General Services Administration and other federal agencies. The 16-acre property has additional development potential, and Stonebridge Principal Doug Firstenberg said he is exploring uses to drive additional office leasing at the site. ...READ MORE

January 9, 2019

Stonebridge to build $300M Bethesda Tower

In the market for spec office space in Bethesda? Doug Firstenberg has you covered. Firstenberg, principal of Stonebridge, said his firm will begin construction in March on its $300 million Avocet Tower mixed-use development at 7359 Wisconsin Ave. featuring a trophy office tower that will soar 300 feet into the air with a rooftop terrace and 220-unit AC by Marriott hotel. If completed as expected by spring 2021, the development will add to other speculative trophy office buildings in Bethesda, where developers are locking in tenant deals for between $60 to $70 per square foot. Consider JBG Smith's 287,183-square-foot 15-story office building at 4747 Bethesda Ave. that is nearly fully leased with rents in that range, and a 360,000-square-foot trophy office tower called The Wilson by Carr Properties at 7272 Wisconsin Ave., which is more than halfway leased. "The leasing velocity has been phenomenal," Firstenberg said. "Bethesda has always been a great location. But there hasn't been a lot of new quality office space, and now you are getting trophy space. You have all these tenants looking for high-quality trophy looking buildings." He said StonebridgeCarras hopes to lease the 370,000-square-foot office building near the future Bethesda Metro entrance and Purple Line Station entrance to law firms, financial companies and professional services companies for rents of $65 per square foot. ...READ MORE

January 4, 2019

People to watch in 2019; Doug Firstenberg, Principal, Stonebridge

It might be an understatement to call 2018 "eventful." After all, venture funds raised hundreds of millions of dollars, while businesses and startups may have seen the biggest funding year outside of the dot-com era. Sequestration-related austerity gave way to what analysts describe as a tech modernization powder keg in the federal government, even as the region's contractor community minted several billions-dollar marriages. The #MeToo movement came for a local celebrity chef, while a Northeast D.C. hospital made moves to shut its doors. Oh, and we brought home the Stanley Cup. And then there was HQ2. But 2019 promises to be no slouch either. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) will begin to set up shop in Crystal City this spring and Virginia Tech will embark on its $1 billion innovation campus in Alexandria. From Silver Spring to Anacostia, developers aim to keep the momentum going, new restaurateurs and retailers aim to add vibrant twists to their surroundings and emerging startups aim to be the next, well, Amazon. So, who will be moving the ball forward this year? These are the D.C.-area business leaders we'll be keeping tabs on in 2019. ...READ MORE