– Partnership and Metro close on 99-year ground lease to redevelop 600 Fifth Street NW
– Crowell & Moring signs 198,877-square-foot lease to anchor half of the new building
WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 13, 2023 – The joint venture of Rockefeller Group and Stonebridge announced today the closing of a 99-year ground lease with Metro to redevelop 600 Fifth Street NW, the only new office development to break ground in Washington this year.
Under terms of the agreement, Metro remains ground lessor of the property and the building on site is owned by affiliates of Stonebridge and Rockefeller Group, which have commenced construction on a 400,000-square-foot redevelopment of the former Metro headquarters.
Crowell & Moring LLP, a leading international law firm founded in Washington more than four decades ago, will become the building’s anchor tenant and plans to occupy the top five floors, nearly half of the building located in the heart of Penn Quarter. This move marks the largest private-sector lease in the city since 2019 and the first to be completed since redevelopment plans were announced in 2020.
Crowell, which has contributed and remains committed to the continuing growth and development of the city, is moving to provide its 675 lawyers and staff based in D.C. a cutting-edge office environment. The building boasts views of the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument and is within walking distance of courts and federal agencies.
“This partnership, anchored by a long-term tenant in Crowell & Moring, will deliver a monumental project and bring even more employees to downtown DC,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “I applaud the development teams for seizing the opportunity to transform this building into a modern, desirable space that employers want and need. Our comeback is underway and, with the partnership of fantastic employers who continue to create opportunity in our city, we know that our best days downtown are yet to come.”
“This is an exciting opportunity to move to a premium, state-of-the-art building that is designed to foster creative collaboration with clients and colleagues,” said Philip T. Inglima, chair of Crowell’s Management Board. “We recognize the changing dynamics in the workplace and have embraced the office of the future, a place that blends innovative architectural detail with the latest technology to meet our evolving business needs, deliver exceptional client service, and attract the next generation of top talent.”
The building, 600 Fifth, is located in one of the most vibrant areas downtown, between the Capital One Arena and the National Building Museum, and within a one-block walk of the Gallery Place and Judiciary Square Metro rail stations. The building has been completely reimagined with a 3-story addition, a modern façade redesign, rooftop and outdoor terraces and new building systems. The redesign was planned by design architect Pickard Chilton, as well as architect of record Kendall Heaton Associates. Clark Construction is the general contractor.
“Today we’re proud to advance a project that’s been an important part of Metro’s long-term vision to capitalize on our assets and create a continuing revenue stream to support the critical transit services Metro provides,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke. “This is a day that Metro has been working toward with our partners at Rockefeller Group and Stonebridge, and it’s also a powerful example of the economic development potential of strategic public-private partnerships throughout the DMV.”
In coordination with the closing of the ground lease, the joint venture announced it had secured additional equity financing from Taisei USA LLC, and Mitsubishi Estate New York, a U.S. affiliate of Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd.
“We set out to conceive what the future office would be and create an exceptional project, and today with Crowell & Moring’s commitment to our shared vision, all the key pieces are now in place to make the new 600 Fifth a reality,” said Douglas M. Firstenberg, a Principal of Stonebridge.
“600 Fifth represents the investment and cooperation of extraordinary partners and our shared confidence in the project, our city, and the trophy office sector,” said Hilary Allard Goldfarb, Senior Managing Director and head of Development for Rockefeller Group in the Mid-Atlantic. “We thank Metro, Crowell & Moring, Taisei and Mitsubishi Estate and our best-in-class design team.”
Crowell & Moring was represented by a JLL brokerage team including Tom Doughty, Elizabeth Cooper, and Greg McCavera. CBRE’s Scott Frankel, Carroll Cavanagh, Dimitri Hajimihalis, Emily Eppolito and DJ Callahan are the exclusive leasing agents for 600 Fifth Street NW.
The JLL team that represented Metro in the ground lease transaction included Bill Prutting, Capital Markets; Martine Combal, Government and Education; Joe Judge, Brokerage; Matt Jackson, Consulting; and Louis Molinini, Project and Development Services, along with Ernie Jarvis, formerly of Jarvis Commercial Real Estate.
The Stonebridge and Rockefeller Group partnership was represented by a Cushman & Wakefield Capital Markets team of Bill Collins, Drew Flood, Marshall Scallan and Bindi Shah.
Stonebridge is a privately held real estate development and investment firm focused on creating exceptional places in the Greater Washington area. The company’s portfolio includes several of the region’s most successful mixed-use projects including Constitution Square, 200 Eye Street, SE and Flats at Bethesda Avenue and The Darcy. During the past twenty years, the principals of Stonebridge have been involved in the acquisition, development, joint venture, financing and disposition of real estate assets in the Washington area exceeding $6.0 billion in value. Visit: Stonebridge.us.com
ABOUT ROCKEFELLER GROUP
Rockefeller Group develops, owns and operates extraordinary properties across the United States. For nearly a century, the company has delivered exceptional experiences and value creation through dedication to quality in the built environment. The company’s portfolio spans the development of office, multifamily, industrial and mixed-use projects across six geographic regions as well as significant ownership interest in and management of approximately six million square feet of world-class office space in Manhattan. Visit RockefellerGroup.com.
ABOUT CROWELL & MORING LLP
Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia. Drawing on significant government, business, industry and legal experience, the firm helps clients capitalize on opportunities and provides creative solutions to complex litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and corporate and transactional issues. The firm is consistently recognized for its commitment to pro bono service and its programs and initiatives to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.