Mitsui Fudosan America to Buy Majority Stake in D.C.’s Homer Building

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor Mitsui Fudosan America Inc. (MFA), the U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s largest real estate company, Mitsui Fudosan Co., will pay $315 million, or about $746 per square foot,  for ING Office Fund’s 80 percent stake in 601 [...]

Mitsui Fudosan America Inc. (MFA), the U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s largest real estate company, Mitsui Fudosan Co., will pay $315 million, or about $746 per square foot,  for ING Office Fund’s 80 percent stake in 601 13th St., N.W. ING Office, a holding of Clarion Partners, put the high-profile building up for sale earlier this year.

Known as the Homer Building, it is an internationally acclaimed historic landmark, located just three blocks from the White House and the National Mall. The 12-story, 421,084-square-foot trophy office building is one of Washington’s top five commercial properties. The Homer is built around an enormous, full-height atrium, with a grand staircase and terrace opposite the entrance.

Constructed in 1913 and renovated in 1990 by Akridge, it was designated as an historic landmark. As part of the renovation, the original terra cotta and cast iron façade was reconfigured to accommodate a fifth floor; two additional bays were constructed using the same façade details, and a seven-story cast stone and masonry addition was added above the original structure. It provides coverage for all wireless devices and applications, including cell phones, pagers, PDAs, two-way radios, Wi-Fi, building automation systems and emergency communication frequencies. Akridge still manages the property.

ING Office acquired 50 percent of the building in April 2005 for $105.2 million. It expanded its interest later to 80 percent. The Homer is about 96 percent occupied at an average rental rate of $48.92 per square foot. Tenants include Ballard Spahr L.L.P., Arianespace Inc. and Brown Rudnick L.L.P. ING also leases space in the building.  Eastdil Secured has been marketing the asset.

Mitsui Fudosan America Inc. is a real estate investment and development company headquartered in New York City, with real estate holdings in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C. It has done business with Akridge before: Akridge brought it on as an investor in 700 Sixth St., N.W., a 300,000-square-foot building constructed in the summer of 2009 that became one of the district’s first properties to be certified Platinum under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for core and shell.