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Bethesda’s Clark Building Sells For $30M, 22% Of Its 2019 Price

Source: Bisnow, by Emily Wishingrad, Washington, D.C.

One of Bethesda’s most prominent office towers has sold for a fraction of its prior price after Clark Construction vacated most of its space. 

Stonebridge and Rockwood Capital sold the 16-story office property at 7500 Old Georgetown Road for $29.9M, roughly 22% of what they paid for it in 2019. The buyer, South Florida-based In-Rel Properties, announced the sale in a press release and confirmed the price to Bisnow.

The building is 40% leased, and In-Rel plans to maintain it as an office property, In-Rel senior adviser Jackson Siegal told Bisnow Tuesday. Commercial Observer first reported the sale.

The sellers had acquired the 335K SF property in 2019 for $133M. Invesco provided Stonebridge and Rockwood with a $103M loan in 2019 along with the acquisition, and Wells Fargo acquired the loan in 2020 and still held it as of June, deed records show.

Stonebridge and Rockwood also invested $21M to renovate the building last year, according to a Cushman & Wakefield brochure marketing the building for sale. 

The deal represented a “short sale,” Siegal told Bisnow, meaning the lender took a loss. The buyer obtained a new loan from EagleBank along with the deal, Siegal said. 

The building sits next to the Bethesda Metro station at the main intersection of Old Georgetown Road and Wisconsin Avenue. 

The building’s prior anchor tenant, Clark Construction, reportedly vacated the vast majority of its 120K SF at the property when it moved its headquarters to Tysons in 2022, the Washington Business Journal reported at the time. The company was emptying more than 90K SF, according to the WBJ, citing a CBRE report. Clark still maintains some office space at the property, Siegal confirmed. 

“We’re really planning on trying to aggressively get tenants back in,” Siegal told Bisnow.

“We want to bring it back to its former glory,” he said. “It has the potential to be a very dynamic workplace.”

The purchase marks the first D.C.-area acquisition for office and retail investment firm In-Rel, which owns properties in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Oklahoma. But the firm is looking to do more deals in the region.

“We think D.C. is one of those places that has been hit really, really hard by Covid — like particularly hard,” Siegal said. “And we think that in the long term, D.C. is going to come back from this.” 

The firm also closed on an acquisition of a 119K SF office property in Memphis, Tennessee, within 48 hours of the Bethesda deal. That property, the Lipscomb & Pitts Building, is 91% occupied and sold for $6.8M, In-Rel Vice President of Finance Paul Catalano told Bisnow in an email.