Washington Business Journal
June 11, 2012
WBJ: Watergate to Undergo Renovations
By Daniel J. Sernovitz
Penzance Cos. is planning to launch a multimillion-dollar renovation of the historic Watergate Office Building at 2600 Virginia Ave. NW on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the historic break-in at the property that eventually brought down President Richard Nixon.
Penzance Vice President of Leasing Matt Pacinelli said the company has retained Hitt Contracting to update the building’s interior and make some cosmetic improvements to its front entrance. Work is slated to start later this month. Penzance is hoping the renovations, slated for completion in September and to cost “several million dollars”, will help attract new tenants to the building’s top four vacant floors.
“It’s pretty special space, and this is the first time in more than a decade that there’s been a large block of space available in the top of the building,” Pacinelli said. “We’re very excited about it.”
The 11-story, 198,000-square-foot building is about half-vacant after law firm Saul Ewing LLP Saul Ewing LLPLatest from The Business JournalsUnder Armour former employee sues over non-compete agreementEconomists predict record employment as soon as year-endSaul Ewing opens Pittsburgh officeFollow this company and the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission vacated the structure previously. Penzance closed in November on its $76 million acquisition of the building, which was brokered by Eastdil Secured LLC.
Pacinelli noted the Watergate was a popular site in D.C. long before the break-in and that Penzance is planning its renovations to honor the historic nature of the building. Penzance has retained architecture firm GenslerGenslerLatest from The Business JournalsNew hotels, offices eyed in San JoseForest City joins housing spree along upper Market Kilroy puts some jazz into SoMa plazaFollow this company for the project.
“It’s sort of a work of art, if you will. We feel like it’s an opportunity because it’s one of the few commercial buildings on the Potomac,” Pacinelli said. “We think that returning the building to its glory will be a fun opportunity and a great opportunity for prospective tenants."
Just under 40 years ago, on June 17, 1972, five men linked to the Nixon administration were arrested attempting to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee’s Watergate offices. Reporting by The Washington Post and eventually several other media outlets tied the break-in to Nixon and prompted him to resign, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so.
Aside from the office building, Euro Capital Properties acquired the Watergate Hotel for $45 million in 2010. It is planning to convert the building into a luxury hotel slated to reopen next year.
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